By R.B. FALLSTROM AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Michael Wacha escaped a pair of jams with strikeouts, and the St. Louis Cardinals snapped a fifth-inning tie en route to a 5-2 victory over the New York Mets on Tuesday night.
Yadier Molina hit his first homer since May 24 for the Cardinals, who have won eight of nine and will go for a three-game sweep on Wednesday. David Wright hit his first homer since May 28, and Lucas Duda also connected for the Mets, who have lost 11 of 14.
Mets manager Terry Collins batted the pitcher eighth with Eric Young Jr. hitting ninth for the second straight game in an effort to stimulate the offense. During the 14-game slump, the Mets have scored two or fewer runs seven times.
Daisuke Matsuzaka worked a scoreless seventh inning in relief of Mets starter Jonathon Niese (3-4). Matsuzaka left Sunday’s start against San Diego after one inning because of a severe upset stomach.
Wacha (5-5) gave up a run and five hits in six innings. He fanned Daniel Murphy with runners on second and third to end the fifth and preserve a 1-all tie, and struck out Ruben Tejada with two on to end the sixth when the Cardinals led 3-1.
Jon Jay’s RBI triple with two outs in the fifth gave the Cardinals the lead, and Matt Holliday followed with an RBI double. Pinch-hitter Kolten Wong and Peter Bourjos added RBIs in the sixth, with both runs unearned after second baseman Murphy dropped Daniel Descalso’s slicing, looping liner with a man on and two out.
Niese allowed five runs, three earned, in six innings. The lefty has made 18 consecutive starts allowing three or fewer earned runs. It is the longest active streak in the majors, extending to last September, but he is just 5-5 during that span.
Wright entered the game 3 for 43 in his last 13 games. He leads the Mets with 34 RBIs, but has just four this month. The home run was his first on the road this season.
Duda hit his ninth homer of the season leading off the ninth against Jason Motte to make it 5-2, and Anthony Recker doubled, but Pat Neshek retired the next three for his second save in four chances.
NOTES: Lance Lynn (7-4, 3.16) faces Bartolo Colon (6-5, 4.15) in the series finale on Wednesday. Lynn worked eight scoreless innings in his last start. … The Cardinals are 20-2 at home against NL East opponents the last two seasons. … The attendance of 42,209 was St. Louis’ 19th sellout in 35 home games.
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