Mets beat Cardinals 7-2 for split after 4-1 loss in opener

MLB

ST. LOUIS (AP)Tomas Nido hit a two-run homer and Jonathan Villar added a solo shot and an RBI single, powering the New York Mets over the St. Louis Cardinals 7-2 on Wednesday night for a doubleheader split.

”That’s one thing we need,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. ”We haven’t hit lot of homers. Those two came I think at a good time. I think it’s a good sign for the guys. We’ve got to carry over this approach.”

The loss ended a six-game winning streak for the NL Central-leading Cardinals (19-13).

St. Louis won the opener 4-1 as Paul DeJong hit a two-run homer and Paul Goldschmidt had a solo homer off Marcus Stroman. Both homers came with two outs.

”We’re patient with our at-bats,” DeJong said. ”We’re kind of wearing pitchers down. I feel like my set-up and my posture is good and I’m hitting the ball where I’m lined up.”

Kwang Hyun Kim pitched four innings, combining with Ryan Hemsley (3-0), Giovanny Gallegos and Alex Reyes (ninth save in nine chances) on a two-hitter.

While the Mets received uplifting news earlier in the day when Rojas said ace Jacob deGrom could return to the rotation on Sunday, skidding New York did little at the plate in its first game after hitting coach Chili Davis was fired and replaced by Hugh Quattlebaum.

The late-night firing Monday occurred after Mets stars Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto praised Donnie Stevenson, an apparently fictional hitting coach.

New York went 11 for 50 in the doubleheader and is hitting .238 with a major league-low 84 runs. The Mets are batting .207 with runners in scoring position after going 4 for 16, including 0 for 5 in the opener.

New York has lost five of its last eight games and is 12-13 overall.

Nido’s homer highlighted a three-run second against Johan Oviedo (0-1), a 6-foot-5, 255-pound rookie, who allowed four runs and five hits in four innings.

A backup as catcher, Nido said he and the other reserves want to take advantage when an opportunity arises.

”We call ourselves the bench mob,” said Nido, who helped coin the term. ”We’re always ready to go. No excuses. The vibe we have is we’re ready to go. ”

Villar made it 4-0 when he homered in the fourth, Kevin Pillar and Villar had RBI singles in the fifth, and Pillar added an RBI grounder in the seventh.

Miguel Castro pitched one inning in his first start since July 15, 2018, and Jordan Yamamoto (1-0) gave up one run and four hits in 2 2/3 innings following his recall from Triple-A Syracuse. where he was set to start in the season opener.

”At the end of the day, I’m here to try and help the team win, you know,” Yamamoto said. ”I’m just grateful they called my name and I had a chance to be here.”

Pinch-hitter Dylan Carlson, who left the opener in the fifth inning with a bruised right shin, had an RBI single in the fourth inning of the nightcap.

”A real pro at-bat with two outs,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt. ”It was an 11-pitch at-bat. He stayed with it.”

Pinch-hitter Justin Williams beat out an infield single in the sixth.

In the opener, Stroman (3-3) lost his third straight start, allowing four runs – two earned – and seven hits in five innings.

This was the Cardinals’ first doubleheader of the season, shortened to seven-inning games under pandemic rules. The Mets were playing in their third twin bill in just over a month.

Kim gave up one run and two hits.

Paul Goldschmidt homered in the first, a 417-foot line drive off the Big Mac Land sign on the front of the third deck in left.

Nolan Arenado singled home a run with two outs in the third, and McCann’s grounder cut the gap in the fourth. Kim escaped bases-loaded trouble by throwing a called third strike past Villar and fanning Albert Almora Jr.

Arenado, who singled in his first two at-bats, reached on shortstop Francisco Lindor’s throwing error in the fifth and DeJong hit a two-run homer on a slider, his first home run this year at home after hitting six on the road.

HERNANDEZ HONORED

Keith Hernandez, an All-Star first baseman, was voted in by fans into the Cardinals Hall of Fame. Hernandez was a two-time All-Star during 10 years in St. Louis and part of the 1982 World Series champions. A three-time All-Star with the Mets and an 11-time Gold Glove, he entered the Mets’ Hall of Fame in 1997. ”I enjoyed playing in both places,” Hernandez said.

ROSTER MOVE

Mets: RF Brandon Nimmo (left index finger bone bruise) was put on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Monday, and C Patrick Mazeika was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse along with RHP Sean Reid-Foley, who served as the 27th man.

Cardinals: LHP Bernardo Flores Jr. was recalled to join the bullpen and serve as the 27th player. Flores, Jr., claimed off wavers from the Chicago White Sox on April 1, had been scheduled to start Friday for Triple-A Memphis.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: deGrom (right lat inflammation) is to play catch Thursday and hopes to throw a bullpen session Friday, putting him on track to start Sunday against Arizona at Citi Field. … RHP Carlos Carrasco (torn right hamstring) start a rehab assignment this weekend at Triple-A Syracuse.

Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (right shoulder) was scheduled to begin his rehab assignment Wednesday night in a start for Memphis against visiting Durham. Mikolas, who missed the 2020 season (right forearm strain) and was placed on the 10-day injured list on March 28.

UP NEXT

RHP Taijuan Walker (1-1) is to start Thursday’s series finale for the Mets against RHP John Gant (2-2).

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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