NEW YORK -- The Cardinals' offense continued to sizzle for a second straight night, smacking 14 hits to back starter Carlos Martinez in a 9-0 thumping of the Mets on Wednesday.
Martinez was stellar, tossing 6 1/3 shutout innings while striking out five to earn his fourth win. St. Louis was catapulted by a six-run fourth inning, during which Jason Heyward and Matt Adams hit long home runs off Mets starter Bartolo Colon.
"That's us clicking on all cylinders," said Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong, who had a three-hit night out of the leadoff spot. "[Colon is] an aggressive pitcher and was going to come right after us. We all kind of collectively said we were going to be aggressive against him, too."
Colon struggled for the third straight start, allowing 11 hits and nine runs (eight earned) over 4 1/3 innings. He even walked a batter for the first time in six starts. Before issuing a free pass to Matt Carpenter in the fourth, Colon set a franchise record by reaching 48 1/3 consecutive innings without a walk.
"He does what he does, and when you face a team that swings the bat like these guys, you have to make good pitches, and he didn't," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I don't think I've ever seen him struggle so much with command."
After dropping the series opener in 14 innings, St. Louis has now outscored New York, 19-2, over the last two games.
The Mets' loss, combined with the Nationals' 3-2 win over the Yankees, drops them out of first place in the National League East for the first time since April 15.
"There is a lot, a lot of baseball left," Collins said. "There is no panic here. Not in the clubhouse, not any place else."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Big Citi blast: Adams capped the Cardinals' second six-run inning in as many nights by launching a three-run homer off Colon in the fourth. The homer, Adams' fourth of the season, was the second of the inning for the Cardinals. Heyward led off the frame with his fourth of the season. With the home run, Adams snapped a string of 55 plate appearances without an extra-base hit.
"Even the first game, the deep fly ball off [Matt] Harvey, I got the barrel to the ball," Adams said. "I was staying through pitches. Last night I just missed the ball off the lefties. And I came into today feeling good, too. So that's three good days and good work in the cage and good BP sessions and feeling comfortable in the box during the game."
Colon's control: Colon set the franchise record by surpassing Bret Saberhagen, who went 47 2/3 innings between walks allowed from May 10 to June 3, 1994. Before throwing four balls to Carpenter, Colon hadn't walked a batter since Washington's Ryan Zimmerman on Opening Day. More >
"I was really very happy to be pitching like that, but also really sad and disappointed that the team took the loss tonight," said Colon through interpreter Ricky Bones.
Martinez masterful: Winless in his previous three May starts, Martinez returned to April form, pitching into the seventh for just the second time in his career. The Mets briefly had him on the ropes in the third, when they loaded the bases with one out in a one-run game. But Randal Grichuk's diving catch in center froze Colon on third, and Martinez ended the threat by inducing a groundout from Daniel Murphy.
"The difference was, tonight I just tried to put the pitch where I wanted to," Martinez said through a translator. "The last couple starts, I tried to do too much. Tonight I was more focused." More >
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Colon came within an inning of becoming just the fifth pitcher in the last 100 years to go eight straight starts without issuing a walk. Most recently, Greg Maddux went nine straight without walking a batter in 2007.
Grichuk became the second player since 2012 to record a double and a triple in consecutive games, but the first Cardinal to do so since Red Schoendienst in 1952.
"I felt like I got a good jump and closed the difference well and made a play. In that situation, obviously, you don't want to give up runs. If I can make a play, leave my feet, I'm definitely going to do my best." -- Grichuk, on his bases-loaded diving catch
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Mets challenged a fourth-inning call by first-base umpire Adrian Johnson, who ruled that first baseman Lucas Duda did not touch Grichuk as he tried to make a swipe tag of the Cardinals' outfielder. Duda had been pulled off the base by an errant throw from third baseman Eric Campbell. The call stood after a two-minute, 20-second review, and the Cardinals went on to score five more runs in the inning.
WHAT'S NEXT Cardinals: Lefty Jaime Garcia will make his season debut on Thursday as the Cardinals close out the four-game series against the Mets with a 12:10 p.m. CT game at Citi Field. Garcia joins the rotation after making a pair of Minor League rehab starts. His 2014 season ended in June due to thoracic outlet syndrome.
Mets: New York turns to Jacob deGrom as it looks to stop a two-game skid on Thursday at 1:10 p.m. ET. deGrom dominated on the mound and at the plate during his most recent start, a win over Milwaukee. He's 4-4 with a 3.21 ERA.