Cards erase early deficit, then hold off Mets

Cards erase early deficit, then hold off Mets

ST. LOUIS -- The first batter of the game provided the Mets all of their offense for the night until the ninth inning as St. Louis starter Lance Lynn recovered from Curtis Granderson's leadoff home run to allow just two more hits over seven innings of work and lead the Cardinals to a 3-2 win at Busch Stadium on Friday night in the first game for both teams since the All-Star break.

Jhonny Peralta lifted a Noah Syndergaard curveball just over the left-field wall and outstretched glove of Kirk Nieuwenhuis to put the Cardinals ahead, 2-1, in the sixth, and Peter Bourjos added an RBI double in the eighth to make it 3-1 before the Mets scored a run and put the potential tying run on third in the ninth against St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal.

Lynn (7-5) was backed with three runs or fewer for the 11th time in his 17 starts.

"It's baseball. They're doing their job and grinding every at-bat, just like every inning I'm grinding not to give up runs," Lynn said. "I don't want to give up runs, just like they want to score runs. It's baseball."

Lynn's dominating performance

Syndergaard continued his strong rookie campaign by tossing seven or more innings for the third time in his last four starts, but the Mets could not muster any extra-base hits and didn't put two baserunners on until the ninth inning.

"You always think that you get a couple guys on, we're still in the game, and we've got the middle of the lineup up," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Obviously, it's against one of the great closers in the game, but we looked up at the end of the game and had a chance to win."

Sixth-inning strike: A bloop single by Kolten Wong, followed by a stolen base and throwing error, allowed the Cardinals to tie the score at 1 on a Matt Carpenter groundout. Then, with two outs and the bases empty, Peralta homered to give the Cardinals a one-run lead. Jason Heyward followed the blast with a triple off the wall in center, but he was left stranded.

"The guys just kept taking the good at-bats," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We had to manufacture."

Carpenter plates Wong

Power surge continues: It took just five pitches for Granderson to extend the Mets' home run streak to five games. Granderson belted a 3-1 pitch into the seats above the right-field bullpen for his 33rd career leadoff home run and fifth leadoff homer this season.

Valuable insurance: Bourjos entered in the seventh inning as a defensive replacement for Matt Holliday, but his bat gave the Cardinals a pivotal insurance run in the eighth inning. Wong scored on a Bourjos double to center, putting St. Louis ahead, 3-1, before Rosenthal, who was questionable before the game with tightness in his arm, entered for a dramatic save.

Bourjos' RBI double

Road no friend to Noah: Syndergaard fell to 0-4 on the road this season. Away from Citi Field, he has a 4.73 ERA, and opponents are 35-for-131 off him.

"I had pretty good command of my fastball, I was throwing my breaking and my offspeed pitches for strikes," Syndergaard said. "I just made one mistake to Peralta, and he hit it over the wall." More >

Syndergaard's solid start

"It's the tying run. A ball's a ball; it's out of the zone. We hadn't said a word all game long. We're in a pennant race here. Those are big calls. You get the tying run on base, and all of a sudden, it's a different ballgame." -- Collins, on being ejected for arguing balls and strikes

The Cardinals challenged that an eighth-inning infield single by Granderson was actually an out, but after a review, the call stood. St. Louis reliever Kevin Siegrist struck out the next batter, Wilmer Flores, to end the inning.

Grandy safe after challenge

Mets: Bartolo Colon (9-7, 4.46 ERA) will take the mound trying to break a streak of three losing decisions as the Mets continue their series at St. Louis on Saturday.

Cardinals: The Cardinals send John Lackey (7-5, 2.99 ERA) to the hill hoping he can build on his streak of six straight quality starts as the Cardinals host the Mets in the second game of the three-game series.

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David Cobb is an associate reporter for Joe Harris is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.