New York manager Jerry Manuel gave Carlos Beltran a scheduled day off on Thursday. The Mets offense didn't miss his bat, putting up 11 runs without their star outfielder.
It all started with a disastrous first inning for the Cardinals rookie pitcher Mitchell Boggs.
With one out, Endy Chavez singled. Boggs then walked David Wright and Ryan Church to load the bases. Carlos Delgado drove in the game's first run with a sacrifice fly.
After a wild pitch allowed Church to advance into scoring position, Damion Easley ripped a line drive up the middle. Boggs was able to get his glove on it, but couldn't make a play, and Wright scored.
Marlon Anderson then hit a tapper between the mound and third base, and arrived safely at first after Boggs misplayed the ball, allowing Church to score. Ramon Castro then flew out to end the inning.
Mike Pelfrey had his best stuff and used his running fastball well throughout the night. He started by striking out Albert Pujols in the first with a fastball on the inside corner.
The Mets offense looked to give Pelfrey some extra run support in the third. They loaded the bases with one out thanks to a Church double, a walk to Delgado, and an Easley single.
Marlon Anderson drove in a run with a fielder's choice, and, after Castro walked, the bases were loaded again. Boggs looked to get out of the inning when Pelfrey stepped to the plate, without an RBI in his career.
Pelfrey delivered and laced a single to right, scoring Delgado. The turning point in the game came here, and the Mets never looked back.
Jose Reyes knocked the ball over the head of centerfielder Rick Ankiel and raced around the bases for a triple, driving in three runs. Endy Chavez capped the six-run inning with a double to bring Reyes home.
Pelfrey cruised through the game, using his heavy fastball to pick up groundball outs. He scattered six hits and the only run he gave up came in the sixth.
Adam Kennedy led off the inning with a double, and moved to third on an Aaron Miles groundout. Many Cardinals fans remained at Busch Stadium and cheered as the Redbirds pushed across their first run on a Chris Duncan groundout.
Pelfrey ended his performance by striking out Brian Barton to end the seventh.
The Mets' final two runs came in the sixth, when Carlos Delgado hit a two-run homer to right.
Scott Schoeneweis and Joe Smith pitched the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to finish the game for New York.
Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, needing to save his bullpen, left Boggs in for six innings despite his 10 earned runs allowed, tagging him with his first loss of the season.
Damion Easley had another multi-hit performance playing second for the Mets, as starter Luis Castillo was placed on the disabled list earlier in the day.
The Chicago Cubs will come to St. Louis to continue their rivalry with the Cardinals tomorrow. St. Louis will send Braden Looper (9-5, 4.26 ERA) to the mound against Chicago's Carlos Zambrano (8-3, 3.13). Zambrano will be making his first start since coming off the disabled list with a strained right shoulder.
The Mets begin an extremely important four-game series with division rival Philadelphia. New York's ace Johan Santana (7-7, 3.01) will pitch at Citizens Bank Park tomorrow. J.A. Happ will make his first start of the year for the Phillies. The Mets scored five runs off Happ in four innings in his only other major league start last year.
Player of the Game: Mike Pelfrey—W, 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks; 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI
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