Quick fix: Cards lose game on brutal final play - KMOV.com

Quick fix: Cards lose game on brutal final play

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ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The Cardinals dropped the final game in the four-game series with the Mets Thursday afternoon, losing a 2-1 lead in the eighth and falling 3-2 on the day’s final play.

Brett Cecil surrendered a solo shot to Wilmer Flores to tie the game at 2-2,  just minutes after Tommy Pham’s eighth-inning homer gave the Cardinals their first lead in two days. Trevor Rosenthal was tapped to handle the bottom of the ninth, and trouble early.

He worked his way to two outs, but the Mets had men at first and third with Jose Reyes at the plate.

On the first pitch of the at bat, the New York shortstop turned on a fastball and stung a grounder down the right field line. Matt Carpenter moved to his left to snare it, eventually gloving the ball on the edge of the outfield grass. The play took him a couple steps into foul territory, meaning there was little chance he could beat Reyes to the bag.

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In a normal circumstance, Carpenter would have flipped the ball to the pitcher covering first base and the Cardinals would have headed to extras with a shot to take the lead.

But Rosenthal didn’t immediately break toward first, instead watching from the mound as Carpenter made the play. By the time he realized he was supposed to be covering the bag, Reyes, a much faster runner than Rosenthal, was halfway to being safe.

Rosenthal broke into a sprint, but was much too late to beat Reyes, morphing a game-saving play into a game-costing blunder.

With Reyes safe at first, the winning run scored from third and the Cardinals ended up splitting the series with the Mets, falling to 46-49.  

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