Mets Routed by Redbirds Once Again

For the second straight game the New York Mets were trounced by the St.Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. On Wednesday evening, superstar Albert Pujols led a 16-hit Redbird attack with two homeruns off Mets starter Pedro Astacio (1-1), and Woody Williams (4-0) remained perfect on the season, pitching seven strong innings, in a 13-4 St. Louis win. Eli Marrero and Fernando Vina also went deep for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals hit Astacio hard in the opening inning after Pedro had already recorded the first two outs. Pujols hit his first homer of the game, and fourth of the season to open the scoring. Jim Edmonds then doubled and Scott Rolen walked. Edgar Renteria singled, driving in Edmonds and sending Rolen to second. Marrero then quickly made it 5-0 Cards when he hit his second homerun of the season.

The Redbirds were hardly finished, as they came right back in the second with two more runs. Winning pitcher Williams doubled to start the second and promptly scored on Vina's first dinger of the campaign. With the score already 7-0, it was going to be another long night for the Mets.

New York finally made a little noise in the fourth inning. Ty Wigginton singled off Williams and moved to second on a ground out by Mo Vaughn. Raul Gonzalez walked, putting two men onboard. Catcher Vance Wilson brought them both home with a ringing double, making in 7-2 Cards.

St. Louis, however, was not impressed and tacked on two more runs in their half of the fourth, that mercifully brought an end to Astacio's outing. J.D. Drew doubled with one out and came home on Pujols' second homerun of the game. It was Albert's third two-homer game of his career, and first since May 28, 2001. The blast increased the Cardinals lead to 9-2, but they were far from finished.

In the sixth inning, the St. Louis hitting machine took out its wrath on young Jason Middlebrook to the tune of four "insurance" runs. Vina doubled with one out and scored on a Drew single. Following a sacrifice fly, Edgar Renteria drove home the final two St. Louis tallies and increased his NL league-leading RBI total to 27 in the process. The big inning upped the ante to 13-2 St. Louis.

The Mets hit two late homeruns in the ninth inning off Russ Springer, including a monster blast by Mo Vaughn. The other long ball was by Vance Wilson. But those homers were but a blip on the radar screen as the game was already long over.

The Mets now look to Steve Trachsel (0-1), himself an early victim of New York shortcomings this season, to right the ship on Thursday. He will be opposed by Brett Tomko (2-2). Look at it this way, Mets fans, things can only get better! Enough said…

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