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Reyes Returns,Mets Deal Cards a Loss

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New York Mets' Jose Reyes warms up before a baseball game between the Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday, July 19, 2011, at Citi Field in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Mets’ Jose Reyes warms up before a baseball game between the Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday, July 19, 2011, at Citi Field in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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By HOWIE RUMBERG    AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Jose Reyes had Citi Field buzzing from the
moment he stepped out of the dugout right up until he quashed a
rally in the eighth inning with his glove.

Carlos Beltran impressed everyone, too, swinging the bat as if
losing five pounds in three days and having a 105-degree fever had
no affect on him at all.

With their two All-Stars back in the lineup, the New York Mets
showed some spunk in a crisp 4-2 victory over the St. Louis
Cardinals on Tuesday night.

“Our lineup certainly changes with those two guys in that
order,” manager Terry Collins said.
Beltran reached base all five times with two doubles, a single
and two walks. Angel Pagan and Daniel Murphy hit two-run doubles,
and Dillon Gee (9-3) pitched seven sharp innings in the Mets’
second win in five games.

Lance Berkman hit a mammoth homer and starter Kyle Lohse (8-7)
had an RBI single for St. Louis, which opened a stretch of 20
consecutive games with its third loss in four games after the
All-Star break.

“They pitched better, played better, hit better,” Cardinals
manager Tony La Russa said. “They had some key outs, we had some
big misses.”

The Mets went 6-6 without Reyes, the majors’ leading hitter, but
wilted in the humidity after the break, losing three of four to
start a stretch that general manager Sandy Alderson said would
determine how the club will proceed as the July 31 non-waiver trade
deadline approaches.

Reyes gave everyone a spark on offense and defense. He had two
hits and scored a run in five at-bats. It was his 44th multihit
game of the season.

“It is a relief,” Reyes said. “I had no problems, no
setbacks.”

His biggest contribution, though, came in the field. With one
out and runners on first and second, Jon Jay hit a sharp grounder
between shortstop and third base. Reyes made a diving stop to hold
the runner at third, loading the bases for Albert Pujols.

Pujols fouled off two 100 mph pitches from Bobby Parnell then
hit a grounder that Reyes fielded right at second base. He stepped
on the bag and made a strong throw to nail Pujols at first, falling
down on the follow through.

It was Pujols’ major league-leading 22nd double play.
“I thank Bobby for getting through Albert for me,” said Jason
Isringhausen, who came on in the ninth for the Mets’ first save
opportunity since trading Francisco Rodriguez _ who had 23 of New
York’s 24 saves this season _ on the night of the All-Star game.

He pitched a perfect ninth for his first save since 2008, when
he was with St. Louis. Isringhausen saved 217 games with the
Cardinals before being injured. He wasn’t even sure he’d make the
Mets roster this spring.

“I knew it was going to happen this way,” Isringhausen said of
getting his first save against the Cardinals. “The baseball gods,
that’s how they do it.”

Collins said that he’d likely go with Isringhausen as the closer
but will try to spread the chances around.
“Right now Izzy would be the guy. Yes.” Collins said.
It was Isringhausen’s second save for the Mets. The other was
the first of his career, in 1999.

Collins said before the game Pagan was unhappy in the leadoff
spot while Reyes was out. He looked more comfortable batting fifth,
lining a drive over right fielder Berkman’s head for two runs in
the fifth. He got such a good jump out of the box that he nearly
stopped between first and second to give Beltran a chance to round
second base.

Pagan’s double was the Mets’ first hit with men in scoring
position since Sunday. They were 0 for 5 Monday in a 4-1 loss to
Florida.

“It’s where I’m better off for the team,” Pagan said of
hitting fifth.
Murphy lined out to shortstop Ryan Theriot with the bases loaded
ahead of Pagan. But Murphy came through in the sixth, greeting
reliever Raul Valdes with a two-out, two-run double to left-center.

Cursing into his helmet after failing in the fifth, Murphy pumped
his arm over his head while standing on second base in the sixth.
Justin Turner singled and Beltran walked ahead of Murhpy’s hit.
Beltran scored from first on the sharply hit ball for a 4-1 lead.

Gee gave up his first hit when David Freese’s high chopper back
to the mound deflected off his glove and fell between shortstop and
second base with one out in the fifth. An out later, Lohse, batting
eighth, slapped a grounder over second base for his first RBI of
the season.

Gee had lost his last two starts, giving up nine earned runs.
His changeup baffled the Cardinals, though, and he gave up three
hits and two runs.

Berkman hit a drive way over the bullpens in right-center and
onto the pedestrian Shea Bridge, eliciting “wows” from the crowd
of 35,448.

“He left it up, just a mistake, he didn’t make many,” Berkman
said.

Lohse allowed four runs and 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings. He gave up
11 earned runs in his previous two starts.

NOTES: Mets C Josh Thole went on the paternity list to be with
his wife Kathryn, who had a boy, Camden. … Cardinals SS Theriot
was suspended two games for making contact with an umpire Sunday.
He appealed. … Mets 3B David Wright went 2 for 4 with a walk and
two runs scored in a rehab game for Class-A St. Lucie. …
Isringhausen’s other save with the Mets came on July 6, 1999,
against Montreal. … Blaine Boyer, who was cut in early April, has
the Mets other save this season.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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