The Cardinals Major League Notebook 04/22

The Cardinals' much-maligned bullpen reeled off four scoreless innings and posted its first win of the season Tuesday night in a come-from-behind 6-4 triumph over the New York Mets.

Kyle McClellan worked two of the four scoreless innings, and Dennys Reyes, Jason Motte and Ryan Franklin did the rest, as Motte gained his first major league victory and Franklin his third save of the season.

The Cardinals are 9-5 now, with the starters 8-1 and the bullpen 1-4.

For 4 1/2 innings, the Cardinals were down 4-0 and seemingly going nowhere. Then Todd Wellemeyer, who had given up 10 hits, nine of them singles, in the first five innings, was allowed to hit for himself in the Cardinals' fifth. The Cardinals have only four extra men available, as they have gone to 13 pitchers for a short stretch.

Instead of being an automatic out, Wellemeyer got his first hit of the season. A broken-bat double by Albert Pujols accounted for two runs, and then two more scored on bases-loaded walks, tying the game.

Manager Tony La Russa said, "It shows that if you get a little something started ... one swing here and one swing there ..."

Before Mets left fielder Daniel Murphy misplayed Brendan Ryan's triple to start a two-run eighth, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina blocked the plate with his left foot in the top of the inning as Carlos Beltran attempted to score standing up. The play had started after a throw from Cardinals right fielder Ryan Ludwick, who caught a flyball, got away from third baseman Joe Thurston.

"When I caught the ball, I really didn't catch the ball," said Thurston, who lost control of the ball as he tried to make a sweeping tag on Beltran at third. But Thurston then hustled to the mound to retrieve the rolling ball and fired home to Molina, who forced Beltran to step on his foot as he tagged him out.

"Yadi's a magician back there," La Russa said. "You're not going to see too many double plays like that."

CARDINALS 6, METS 4: CF Rick Ankiel, whose average had slipped to .172, broke a 4-4 tie in the eighth inning with a run-scoring double for his third hit of the night. C Yadier Molina was another offensive star, getting three hits and a walk. He also picked a runner off first base in the first inning and blocked Mets CF Carlos Beltran off the plate in the eighth.

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