"What more could he have done?" manager Tony La Russa said. "That's the kind of starter we thought we were getting."
But, typical of the Cardinals' season, all that was wasted.
Right-hander Russ Springer hadn't given up a home run all season, but he served one up to Shawn Green, who slammed a misplaced Springer fastball off the right-center-field scoreboard to open the 11th inning.
The Cardinals lost just their second extra-inning game out of six but fell 9 1/2 games behind division-leading Milwaukee.
With the score tied 1-1 in the seventh, the Cardinals missed a chance to seize control of the game. After a double steal by catcher Gary Bennett and Maroth, they had runners at second and third with no outs.
"It's hard to believe we missed that," La Russa said. "We had some of our hottest hitters up."
METS 2, CARDINALS 1 (11 innings): Cardinals pitching held the Mets to just two hits over the first 10 innings, but hit No. 3 was a game-ending homer by Shawn Green in the 11th inning. Russ Springer, who faced only Green, suffered his first loss of the season. The Cardinals were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
NOTES AND QUOTES
--3B Scott Rolen was out of the lineup with a bruised foot Monday after he fouled a ball off it Sunday. --RHP Tomo Ohka pitched eight innings Monday for Class AAA Memphis, giving up only three earned runs. --RHP Troy Pervical, signed as a free agent a couple of weeks ago, came up from Class AAA Memphis and will be activated Tuesday. Rookie RHP Andy Cavazos is likely to be sent out.
--C Yadier Molina, out four weeks with a fractured left wrist, took batting practice for the first time Monday and said his wrist felt good.
--CF So Taguchi extended his career-high (both in the U.S. and Japan) hitting streak to 17 games with a third-inning double Monday.
BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Number of Cardinals who have had hitting streaks of at least 15 games this season -- So Taguchi, Juan Encarnacion and Yadier Molina.