Gonzales, Heyward set pace for Cardinals

Starter continues stellar spring with strong 4 2/3 innings

Gonzales, Heyward set pace for Cardinals

JUPITER, Fla. -- Infielder Matt Reynolds, who is making a final push for a spot on the Mets' bench, singled and scored the go-ahead run during the sixth inning of New York's 3-2 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday.

Reynolds opened the inning with a hit off Cardinals reliever Seth Maness and moved to third on an Anthony Recker double. He then scored on a fielder's choice to push the Mets toward their Grapefruit League-best 16th win.

Mets first baseman Lucas Duda finished with a three-hit, two-RBI day, with all of his hits coming off lefty pitchers. Duda's two-out single in the third drove in Curtis Granderson to give the Mets an early one-run lead against Cardinals starter Marco Gonzales. Granderson also reached base three times in the game, connecting for two doubles and drawing one walk.

Gonzales was a late rotation replacement for the Cardinals, who had planned to start Jaime Garcia until learning that Garcia was dealing with some soreness and fatigue in his left arm. In Garcia's place, Gonzales went a spring-best 4 2/3 innings in the 81-pitch outing. He needed 62 of those pitches to get through the first three innings, during which the Mets tallied three hits and three walks. Gonzales worked around the trouble, however, by limiting the Mets to only one run. In 17 1/3 spring innings, Gonzales has allowed just two runs.

He exited the game with a lead, thanks to his own assist with the bat. A two-way player in college, Gonzales opened the third with a single off Mets starter Dillon Gee. Jason Heyward followed with an RBI triple and then scored on a Matt Holliday sacrifice fly. Heyward finished with his first multi-hit game of the spring.

Gee, who scattered seven hits in seven innings, avoided additional trouble by inducing three double plays. He retired the final six batters he faced.

Up next: The Cardinals will open their final week of Grapefruit League play with a 12:05 p.m. CT home game against the Nationals on Monday. Right-hander Michael Wacha will be making his final spring tune-up and fifth start in total. He'll likely be pushed to a pitch count of about 90. Center fielder Jon Jay and second baseman Kolten Wong are expected back in the lineup for the Cardinals' final spring game against Washington.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.