St. Louis used a five-run fifth to take its first lead, scoring all five of those runs (four earned) off Mets reliever Jeff Walters. Piscotty, who had earlier tied the game with a two-out RBI double, drove home another with a single to center. Two-run doubles by Rodriguez and Gyorko -- starting in place of the injured Jhonny Peralta -- punctuated the inning.
The Mets missed some opportunities to take a larger lead early when they went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position against Adam Wainwright. Making his first start since April 2015, the Cardinals' ace worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first and stranded two more in the second to close his 38-pitch outing. He walked three but did not allow a run.
"I never expected to be erratic, but it's understandable," Wainwright said. "In the bullpen, I was very controlled. And then once I started amping it up, I was a little more erratic. It was a little harder than I had gone. Each time I'm out, I'll get hopefully more polished."
Mets starter Steven Matz also made his spring debut and retired eight of the first nine batters he faced. Matz, who allowed Piscotty's first run-scoring hit, closed his 43-pitch outing by inducing a groundout from Matt Holliday.
"It felt really good," Matz said afterward. "I always have to tell myself to tone it down, and I was able to stay within myself early. I was really happy with how I feel comfortable-wise on the mound. I felt good right from the get-go."
Danny Muno drove home the Mets' first run with a two-out single off Cards reliever Seth Maness in the third. The Mets tried to score a second run on the hit, but Matt Reynolds was thrown out at the plate on a relay started by center fielder Tommy Pham.
A two-run single by Travis Taijeron pulled the Mets to within three in the sixth. Cardinals lefty Tyler Lyons, who is trying to win a bullpen job, allowed two hits and walked one in that frame.
Up next for the Mets: Unlike last spring, when cameras followed Matt Harvey's every move in his return from Tommy John surgery, Harvey has remained mostly in the background this spring. But there will still be plenty of buzz surrounding his Grapefruit League debut, scheduled for Tuesday against the Braves at Disney World. Harvey will oppose right-hander Matt Wisler in the 1:05 p.m. ET game, live on Gameday Audio.
Up next for the Cardinals: The Cards will travel across the state to Fort Myers on Tuesday to face the Twins in a 12:05 p.m. CT game, and fans can listen to a live, exclusive webcast. Cardinals starter Michael Wacha will make the first of his five Grapefruit League starts and is expected to throw about 40 pitches. Seung Hwan Oh and Seth Maness are among the relievers scheduled to appear.