Mets turn tables on Cards to earn split of twin bill
By Joshua Needelman and Troy Provost-Heron
NEW YORK -- The sun had just set at Citi Field, but the nightcap of a Tuesday doubleheader between the Mets and Cardinals was starting to look a lot like its afternoon counterpart. Jedd Gyorko, who hit the decisive two-run homer in the Cardinals' one-run win earlier, went deep in the second inning against Bartolo Colon.
The similarities ended there in the Mets' 3-1 win. While Noah Syndergaard slogged through six innings during the day, Bartolo Colon limited St. Louis' offense to Gyorko's blast. He held the Cardinals to three hits through seven frames, the first time he'd pitched that deep in a game since June 26. Plus, he tied a season high with eight strikeouts.
"We came out of Spring Training, we were saying, 'Boy, if this guy can get us through June, when Zack Wheeler's ready, he'll have done a heck of a job. Not only has he gotten us through June, he's pitching as good as, if not better than, anybody," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We're going to bring him out on short rest to pitch Saturday. We just thought it was important to keep him under 95-100 pitches, to keep him lower than that if we could."
After climbing ahead of the Mets in the National League Wild Card standings with a victory in the opening game of the doubleheader, the loss bounced the Cardinals right back into third place in the race for the second Wild Card spot with the Marlins, Mets and Pirates. The Dodgers hold the first Wild Card spot, 2 1/2 games ahead of Miami.
"I don't think of it as a split, I think of it as a lost game right there," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We already shook hands on the other one earlier. This was a whole new game, and we don't like losing any game, ever."
"I thought [Garcia] was good," Matheny said. "Once again, there was a play or two that might have been made for him that could have helped out a little bit, but he was pretty efficient. We just got to the point where we could tell we were having trouble getting offense going."
Greg Garcia singled off Jeurys Familia in the ninth, but the Mets' closer didn't let him advance and nailed down his 52nd straight regular-season save. Familia is now two saves behind Tom Gordon for the second-longest streak in Major League history.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Let's do it again: Gyorko kickstarted the Cardinals' offense in the nightcap with a home run in the second inning that traveled 385 feet, according to Statcast™. With the blast, Gyorko joined elite company, becoming the first Cardinals player to homer in both games of a doubleheader multiple times in a season since Stan Musial in 1949. The infielder homered three times during St. Louis' doubleheader against the Padres on Wednesday at Busch Stadium. More >
Slump snapper: When he stepped up to the plate with a runner on third in the third inning, Asdrubal Cabrera brought an 0-for-32 skid with runners in scoring position with him. He broke the slump with a double off the wall in left field, before driving in another run with a sac fly in the fifth. Cabrera now has 33 RBIs, the third most on the team.
"Everybody was laughing," Cabrera said of his teammates' reaction to him snapping the skid. "I was laughing, too."
Welcome back, Wilmer: Flores, who started for the first time since Friday, hit cleanup and didn't disappoint. He went 3-for-4 and scored in the fourth frame on Loney's double play. He hit the ball hard in the seventh, forcing Kolten Wong to make a running catch in right field.
"I've been feeling good all year. Maybe a couple weeks that I wasn't really there," Flores said. "I've been getting good pitches and driving the ball."
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Gyorko's home run was the 138th long ball the Cardinals have hit this season, surpassing the total number of home runs they hit throughout the 2015 season (137). St. Louis is currently on pace to hit 224 home runs this season, which would be the second most in franchise history behind the 235 the club hit in 2000.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW Juan Lagares was initially called out at first after ripping a line drive to shortstop Aledmys Diaz in the fifth inning. After a brief review, it was ruled that Lagares beat out Diaz's throw, putting runners on the corners with one out and setting up Cabrera's sacrifice fly.
WHAT'S NEXT Cardinals:Adam Wainwright (9-5, 4.09 ERA) will start for the Cardinals in their series finale against the Mets on Wednesday at 6:10 p.m. CT. In nine career appearances (seven starts) against New York, the right-hander is 3-4 with a 5.13 ERA, the highest mark he has against any team he's made at least three appearances against.
Mets:Logan Verrett (3-6, 4.14 ERA) takes the ball for the series finale at 7:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field. Verrett, who joined the rotation to replace an injured Matt Harvey, has allowed just two earned runs in each of his past two starts.