By Anthony DiComo and Jenifer Langosch
NEW YORK -- It took them a few innings longer than Matt Harvey might have liked, but the Mets managed to win their third straight game -- 2-1 in 14 innings over the Cardinals on Monday night at Citi Field. Pinch-hitter John Mayberry Jr. hit a walk-off infield single in the 14th, salvaging victory for the Mets on a night when Harvey's eight shutout innings resulted in nothing more than a no-decision.
"They're one of the best teams in the league without a question," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "So when you go 14 innings, you'd like to leave with a smile on your face."
Following an intentional walk to Daniel Murphy, Mayberry sent a ground ball deep enough into the shortstop hole that Jhonny Peralta could not throw out Campbell racing home.
"I played in, and he hit it perfect in the hole," Peralta said. "The only chance that I can do is throw to home plate. It's a hard play to make. There is nothing I can do right there."
The Mets initially seemed headed to a breezy victory behind Harvey, who pushed his pitch count to 105 over eight shutout innings. But the Mets scored just once off starter John Lackey and closer Jeurys Familia blew his first save in 14 chances, giving up Jason Heyward's game-tying sacrifice fly in the ninth. More >
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Mayberry sends the Mets home: Stuck in a 4-for-35 slump, Mayberry came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the 14th. He pulled the first pitch he saw to the left side of the infield, where Peralta gloved it but had little chance to throw Campbell out at home. It was Mayberry's fourth RBI in a Mets uniform.
"It's obviously a great feeling to be able to come up in a big spot and get the job done," he said.
Harvey dominant: Collins has been careful not to test the limits of Harvey's surgically-repaired right elbow this season, most recently removing him after 100 pitches and seven shutout innings last week against the Cubs -- a game the team ultimately lost. But with Harvey's pitch counts relatively low all month, they decided to test him on Monday, allowing him to pile up 105 pitches in the no-decision. Fans at Citi Field showed their appreciation by chanting his name throughout the top of the eighth. More >
Late-inning sprint: Finally able to take their chances against someone other than Harvey, the Cardinals scored the tying run in the ninth off Familia. Having already hit into two double plays, Heyward drove a slider just deep enough for pinch-runner Pete Kozma to tag and score from third. Kozma, who entered after a one-out single by Matt Adams, had moved to third on an executed hit-and-run by Yadier Molina.
Beating the shift: Duda has seen all variations of shifts over the past two seasons, from a traditional overshift to more unorthodox variations. The Cardinals employed one of those against him in the fourth inning with a man on third base and one out, moving a trio of infielders to the right side of second while keeping Matt Carpenter stationed at third. Duda responded by poking an opposite-field single just to the right of where the shortstop would normally stand, driving home Curtis Granderson for the Mets' first run. More >
Leaning on Lackey: Lackey gave the Cardinals their second straight seven-inning start and would have pitched deeper had they not needed to pinch-hit for him. Lackey breezed through seven innings on 76 pitches and faced just one over the minimum. He induced a pair of double plays, struck out six and walked none. More >
"You couldn't ask any more from anybody," manager Mike Matheny said. "He was good. He had life on the fastball. He was spotting right from the start, just making good pitches and making them come to him. He was not making mistakes."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Mets had played 22 consecutive games of fewer than three hours before crossing that threshold in the 11th inning on Monday.
Outfielder Randal Grichuk became the first Cardinals player to strike out five times in a game since Ray Lankford, who did so three different times in 1998. Grichuk finished 0-for-6.
With Kirk Niewenhuis mired in a 3-for-38 slump to start the season, the Mets announced after the game that they plan to call up Darrell Ceciliani from Triple-A Las Vegas, where the lefty-hitting outfielder was batting .339. Though the Mets have yet to announce a corresponding move, Nieuwenhuis appears to be most at risk of a demotion. He is out of Minor League options, but he can be designated for assignment.
WHAT'S NEXT Cardinals: The Cardinals will turn to Michael Wacha on Tuesday at 6:10 p.m. CT in the rematch of this four-game set at Citi Field. The club is 7-0 in Wacha's starts this season. In three career starts against the Mets, Wacha is 2-1 with a 2.81 ERA.
Mets: Left-hander Jon Niese looks to bounce back from one of his worst starts of the season on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Niese entered his last outing leading all Mets starting pitchers in ERA, before giving up six runs (four earned) in a loss to the Cubs. That bloated his ERA to 2.49.