Not in the Cards: Mets Fall 13-3

The Mets on Tuesday continued to display their natural ability to make errors and come up empty with runners in scoring position as they lost 13-3 to the St. Louis Cardinals in front of over 30,000 in St. Louis.

Al Leiter, who came into the night with a 3-0 record to go along with a 2.35 ERA, was hit hard in the first inning by the Red Birds, allowing four runs on six hits, including a two-run double by Cardinal third basemen Scott Rolen. Second bagger Miguel Cairo and shortstop Edgar Renteria also pitched in with doubles in the opening home frame, and the Cardinals never looked back.

Leiter pitched well for the rest of his outing, going an additional five innings and only allowing one run, which came off a homerun by Eduardo Perez, the first homerun the Met southpaw has given up all year.

The Mets were baffled by Cardinal ace Matt Morris, and were only able to score two runs off of him in the sixth. The runs themselves came off a botched Willy Mays like attempt to catch a Cliff Floyd fly ball by Jim Edmonds. In the first, the Mets had the bases loaded with one out for Mo Vaughn and Ty Wigginton. Vaughn struck out on a half-swing a nasty Morris breaking ball, and Wigginton was robbed of a 2 RBI single by Edgar Renteria.

Russ Springer pitched the seventh for the Cardinals, and did not let up a run. Jeff Fassero came into face Met centerfielder Timo Perez and leftfielder Cliff Floyd to lead off the 8th, but once he walked Floyd, Card Manager Tony Larussa sent for Kiko Calero to pitch against Piazza and the rest of the Met order. Piazza proceeded to hit a double off of Colero, but the journeyman reliever came back to strike out Tony Clark, who replaced the ill Mo Vaughn in the first, and Wigginton.

The seventh inning saw the Cardinals score another run, this time off Dave Weathers, via another Renteria RBI hit, this time a single over the glove of a jumping Wigginton, which scored Albert Pujols. The Mets had the opportunity to get out of the inning without allowing any runs, but Alomar was unable to get a throw off from second base in order to complete a double play off the bat of Scott Rolen.

The Cardinals scored again in the 8th, as Jaime Cerda walked Albert Pujols to force in a run after being squeezed on a 3-2 curve ball to Jim Edmonds. Colero, the pitcher, blooped a base hit over Tony Clark's head, driving in one in his first Major League at bat, making it an official blowout for the pitch-catch team from Flushing. Scott Rolen sent two more home off Graham Lloyd, making the score an even 10-2 for the Gas House Gang. Renteria, once again hit a double, scoring two more, and the pitch-catch team went down 12-2. Catcher Mike Matheny drove in Edgar Renteria with a sacrifice fly, and along with it helped sacrifice Met bullpen ERA, as at the end of the inning, it was 13-2 Redbirds.

The Mets then went on the comeback trail, but fell just short, as they scored just one on a Vance Wilson sacrifice fly, which sent Roger Cedeño, who led off the inning with a double, home.

Defense was again an albatross for the New York nine, as they committed two errors, one by Alomar on a ground ball and one by Clark, who let a ball scoot through his legs. Wigginton also made an error-worthy play, allowing a groundball to go past him after making a sideways stab at it in the seventh.

- Roberto Alomar is in a 0-19 slump.

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