Cardinals lose to Mets, split 2-game series - KMOV.com

Cardinals lose to Mets, split 2-game series

NEW YORK (AP) -- After the Mets lost yet another player to injury, Nelson Figueroa gave them the type of fill-in outing they needed.

Figueroa pitched 4 1-3 scoreless innings and boosted the offense with a two-run triple after Jonathon Niese got hurt, leading New York over the St. Louis Cardinals 9-0 Wednesday.

Angel Pagan hit his second homer in four games and had four RBIs, and David Wright also homered for the Mets. New York took a 5-0 lead in two innings against Kyle Lohse, finished with 15 hits and won for just the second time in seven games, completing a 5-5 homestand.

Niese, who entered the rotation less than two weeks ago because of an injury to Fernando Nieve, strained his right hamstring in the second inning when he went to cover first and fell into the splits while trying to complete a double play. He then threw a practice pitch, grimaced and collapsed. Niese was assisted off the field by two trainers and taken to a hospital for an MRI.

On Monday, Figueroa (1-2) made a spot start against Arizona caused by a rainout last week that disrupted the Mets' rotation. He was awful, lasting just 1 2-3 innings and allowing 10 hits as the Mets fell behind by six runs in a 6-5 loss.

He was far different against the Cardinals, allowing four hits, striking out five and walking none in his first major league win since Sept. 1 at Milwaukee. Bobby Parnell completed the six-hitter for his first career save in five opportunities.

There was more injury news for the banged-up Mets, who have nine players on the disabled list. Left fielder Gary Sheffield, activated from the DL only last Sunday, left in the sixth because of tightness in his right hamstring. And second baseman Luis Castillo missed the game, a day after spraining his left ankle when he slipped and fell in the dugout.

Cardinals center fielder Rick Ankiel helped the Mets by allowing balls from consecutive batters to go off his glove in the second. The first, on a difficult drive by Figueroa, was ruled a triple and the second, an easier play, was scored a sacrifice fly for Pagan plus an error.

The game got a bit contentious in the sixth, when Cardinals reliever Brad Thompson threw a pitch near the head of Wright, prompting plate umpire Bill Miller to warn both dugouts. An inning earlier, Figueroa loaded the bases when he hit Cardinals star Albert Pujols near the right elbow.

Lohse (4-7) dropped to 1-7 with a 5.56 ERA in his last 11 starts, allowing five runs and seven hits in 2 2-3 innings. The Cardinals have lost all but one of those outings.

Pujols, playing after getting spiked on the left shin on a play at second base in the ninth inning Tuesday, doubled his first two times up, giving him hits in six straight official at-bats following an 0 for 13 slide. Five of the hits were for extra bases. The streak ended when he grounded out in the eighth.

Wright's two-run homer put the Mets ahead in the first, just his eighth home run of the season and fifth at spacious Citi Field.

With two on in the second and the Cardinals' outfield shallow, Figueroa hit a drive over Ankiel, who ran back and turned only to have the ball kick off his glove for a two-run triple. It was Figueroa's second extra-base hit in 71 career at-bats.

Pagan followed with a liner to shallow center. Ankiel ran in and the ball once again went off his glove.

Ankiel left during the bottom of the fourth when Colby Rasmus entered as part of a double switch. St. Louis loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth when Pujols was hit, but Matt Holliday struck out and pounded the dirt twice with his bat.

Pagan tripled in a run in the sixth against Thompson and scored on Alex Cora's single, then homered to center off Trever Miller in the eighth.

NOTES: New York has 20 triples and 38 homers in 55 games at Citi Field. ... Parnell singled in the eighth in his first major league plate appearance, giving New York three hits from the No. 9 slot.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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