By SCOTT ORGERA Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) _ Cardinals pitcher Trevor Rosenthal was late covering first base on a two-out grounder by Jose Reyes that turned into a game-winning single in the ninth inning, lifting the New York Mets over St. Louis 3-2 Thursday.
A leadoff walk and T.J. Rivera’s single put runners on the corners with two outs. Reyes then hit a grounder up the first base line, and Matt Carpenter fielded it cleanly well behind the bag. Rosenthal (2-4) was slow to leave the mound, and the speedy Reyes easily beat him to the base with a headfirst dive.
Carpenter never even made a throw. Rosenthal hurdled Reyes as they crossed paths.
Reyes’ fourth career walkoff RBI gave the Mets a split of the four-game series.
Addison Reed (1-2) pitched a perfect ninth.
Tommy Pham drove reliever Erik Goeddel’s 3-1 changeup into the lower deck in left field to give the Cardinals a 2-1 advantage in the eighth. It was Pham’s 13th home run of the season and third against the Mets.
Pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores homered in the bottom half off Brett Cecil to tie it.
On an oppressively hot afternoon, both starting pitchers did their part to keep the bats cool.
A couple of hours before first pitch, Seth Lugo sat in front of his locker strumming a guitar adorned with the Mets logo, a relaxed look on his face.
The right-hander took that vibe to the mound, keeping the Cardinals off balance with a dizzying curveball and hurling 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball behind a career-high 103 pitches.
Lugo did not allow a hit until two outs in the fifth, when Greg Garcia lined a double into the right field corner.
Lance Lynn was equally effective despite running the count full on five batters, allowing just one run on three hits in six innings.
Lucas Duda homered into the Cardinals’ bullpen to lead off the second, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead and snapping Lynn’s scoreless streak at a career-high 14 1/3 innings.
It was Duda’s 17th of the season and the 125th of his career, moving him ahead of Todd Hundley for sole possession of seventh place on the franchise’s all-time home run list.
After Matt Carpenter worked a one-out walk in the sixth, Pham hit an RBI double.
The Mets activated reliever Josh Smoker from the disabled list. The hard-throwing lefty had been out more than a month with a strained shoulder. He is 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA in 22 games. RHP Neil Ramirez was designated for assignment. He was 0-1 with a 7.18 ERA in 29 games combined with San Francisco and New York.
Cardinals: OF Randal Grichuk (lower back strain) was 1 for 4 with a three-run homer for Double-A Springfield on Wednesday night. Manager Mike Matheny said the Cards would make sure Grichuk was feeling good after the rehab game and decide where he goes from there.
Cardinals: St. Louis will open a three-game set at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs. RHP Carlos Martinez (6-8, 3.36 ERA) faces RHP Jake Arrieta (9-7, 4.17 ERA) in the series opener. The Cardinals have lost Martinez’s last five outings, despite three of them being quality starts.
Mets: Oakland visits Citi Field this weekend for the first time since June 2014. LHP Steven Matz (2-3, 4.58 ERA) starts for the Mets, looking to avoid losing his third straight after being charged with seven runs while only retiring three Rockies batters on Sunday. The Athletics counter with rookie RHP Paul Blackburn (1-0, 1.83 ERA), who has lasted at least six innings in all three starts since making his debut earlier this month.
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