Mets Bats Beat Cards 14-12

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLA - The New York Mets came from behind three times Wednesday afternoon as they rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 14-12 in front of 6,218 at Thomas J. White Stadium in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

The Mets scored seven runs in the sixth and four in the eighth helping them to their 11th Spring Training victory. The Mets ended up on the winning side of the coin, but their pitching looked shaky several times throughout the afternoon and their bats bailed them out time after times throughout the game.

Jason Middlebrook started for the Mets and pitched 4 1/3 innings allowing five runs and 10 hits. Last season Middlebrook went 1-0 with a 3.94 ERA in just 16 innings with the Mets. He let up two home runs in Wednesday's game, including one to Tino Martinez in the fifth inning that would have sailed into the mezzanine at Shea.

Pedro Feliciano, Jamie Cerda, David Weathers, Mike Stanton and Graeme Lloyd combined over the remaining 4 2/3 innings. Feliciano finished the fifth for Middlebrook allowing a walk, fielder's choice and strike out to get the Mets out of the inning. Cerda pitched the sixth gave up a home run to the Cardinals' Miguel Cairo before yielding to Weathers. Weathers pitched the seventh allowed four runs on five hits.

Stanton pitched the eighth allowing one run on two hits and struck out one. Lloyd picked up the save working a perfect ninth, the only perfect inning for the Mets in the game.

The Mets' bats came to the rescue continuously throughout the game. They combined for 18 hits, five for extra bases and three home runs. Ty Wigginton, Roberto Alomar and Vance Wilson all homered for the Mets in the game.

Wigginton homered to center off Cardinals' pitcher Garrett Stephenson in the second and put the Mets in front for the first time in the game 2-1. The Mets fell behind 7-2 before exploding for seven runs in the sixth. Alomar got thing going in the inning with homer off Cardinals' pitcher Rick Ankiel.

Cliff Floyd and Mike Piazza both followed with consecutive walks. Jorge Toca followed with a double driving in Joe McEwing, who pinch ran for Floyd, and Wilson, who ran for Piazza, to get the Mets within three. Wigginton then drove in Toca with a base hit. Jeromy Burnitz followed with a single of his own.

Wiggington was thrown out at third and Burnitz advanced to second next when shortstop Ray Sanchez grounded into a fielder's choice. Pinch hitter Jose Reyes then advanced the runners on a groundout to first. Burnitz scored shortly after on a passed ball.

Timo Perez then singled scoring Sanchez and then Alomar singled scoring Perez to put the Mets in front 9-7. But the Mets fell behind 11-9 in the top of the seventh. They picked up one in the bottom of the inning but lost one again in the top of the eighth.

In the bottom of that same inning though the Mets came back and took the lead for good after singles by Perez, Jason Philips and McEwing. Wilson provided the big blow, a three run homer, putting the Mets in front 14-12.

The Mets are now 11-10 in Spring ball and play the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Thursday night in Port St. Lucie.

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