By HOWIE RUMBERG AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Dillon Gee had his third straight stellar start, Lucas Duda hit one of three Mets homers and New York scored the most runs allowed by Shelby Miller in his young career for a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.
David Wright and Marlon Byrd also connected for the Mets, who snapped a three-game skid and improved to 2-6 in June. Duda drove in two runs, including a first-inning single that scored Daniel Murphy from first base.
With prized pitching prospect Zack Wheeler nearing his promotion to the big leagues, Gee (5-6) has done everything possible to protect his spot in the rotation. The right-hander has yielded only three earned runs over 21 innings in his past three starts _ all wins.
A day after being named NL captain for the Home Run Derby during All-Star week at Citi Field, Wright hit a long ball into the center-field seats just to the right of the Big Apple in the sixth.
The NL Central-leading Cardinals entered with the league’s best batting average at .277 but could get little going against Gee, who is on a three-game run that’s as good as Miller (7-4) has been all season.
Gee scattered six hits and struck out seven in 6 2-3 innings. He gave up a one-out homer in the sixth by Allen Craig _ his second in two days against the Mets.
The recent success could not have come at a better time for the crafty Gee, because the Mets plan to call up Wheeler to start one game of Tuesday’s doubleheader in Atlanta. While manager Terry Collins said everyone would get their turn through the rotation, a pitcher will likely be demoted to the bullpen after that to make room for Wheeler _ and it most likely will be Gee or Jeremy Hefner.
Miller, on the other hand, has solidified a spot in the Cardinals’ rotation with surprising consistency for a 22-year-old. The four runs the Mets scored were the most he’s allowed in 19 big league appearances _ 13 starts this season. He had allowed three runs three times this year and his ERA is 2.21, up from 1.91 going into the game.
Miller struck out 10 without a walk in six innings.
The Mets did not score against him over 5 2-3 innings on May 15 but were able to go ahead in the first when Wright lined a two-out double to right-center and scored on Murphy’s single.
Running on a pitch to Duda, Murphy, not known for his speed, scored from first when right fielder Carlos Beltran played the line drive down the first base line lackadaisically and made his throw to second base.
With one out in the fourth, Duda homered into the Cardinals’ bullpen in right-center to end a run of eight straight outs by Miller that began after Duda’s RBI single in the first.
Byrd homered off Seth Maness in the seventh.
David Freese went 0 for 4 for the Cardinals, ending his career-best hitting streak at 20 games _ longest in the majors this season.
NOTES: Cardinals RHP Jake Westbrook (elbow inflammation) is scheduled to come off the disabled list and start Friday night in Miami, but manager Mike Matheny still has not said who will be sent to the minors to make room for Westbrook. . Thursday’s matinee features a marquee pitching matchup between St. Louis RHP Adam Wainwright (9-3) and Mets RHP Matt Harvey (5-0), but heavy rain is in the forecast. … The Cardinals signed six draft picks Wednesday, bringing their total to 13 signed players. Wednesday’s signees are pitcher Ian McKinney (5th round), pitcher Jimmy Reed (6th round), shortstop Chris Rivera (7th round), outfielder Devante Lacy (24th round), pitcher Blake McKnight (38th round) and pitcher Kevin Herget (39th round). … The band “Foreigner” will play a postgame concert Friday night at Citi Field. … Mets SS Omar Quintanilla struck out four times. … Yadier Molina had three hits for St. Louis.
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