April 23, 2014: Mets Hold Off Cards in 9th

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Date: April 23, 2014
Mets starter: Jonathon Niese
Mets: 3
Cardinals: 2
Winning pitcher: Jonathon Niese
Key player(s): Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Ruben Tejada
Key play: Mets’ bases-loaded walks, Duda’s home run, Tejada’s throw in 9th

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Wednesday night at Citi Field. The teams played the third of four games in a series. The Mets withstood a St. Louis comeback effort in the ninth inning and came away with a 3-2 win.

Matt Carpenter singled against Mets’ starter Jonathon Niese to lead off the top of the first. Mark Ellis took a called third strike and Matt Holliday drew a walk. Allen Craig followed with a force play ground ball to second baseman Daniel Murphy. Yadier Molina hit a double to score Carpenter for a 1-0 Cards lead. Niese retired Jhonny Peralta on a grounder to third baseman David Wright for the third out. Redbirds’ starter Michael Wacha then struck out the side in a scoreless bottom half.

Niese and Wacha each hurled scoreless second and third innings. Jonathon surrendered just a walk to Molina in the top of the fourth and Murphy singled to begin the bottom of the inning. Chris Young hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Peralta and a walk to Lucas Duda ensued. Travis d'Arnaud hit a single to load the bases and Ruben Tejada walked to force home Young. Niese was called out on strikes and Kirk Nieuwenhuis drew a walk that brought home Duda for a 2-1 Mets lead. Wacha then got Curtis Granderson to foul out to third baseman Carpenter and finish off the inning.

Niese yielded only a single to Carpenter in the top of the fifth. St. Louis reliever Seth Maness hurled a perfect bottom half and Jonathon gave up just a single to Molina in the top of the sixth. Leading off the bottom of the inning, Duda hit a home run to extend the Mets’ lead to 3-1. D’Arnaud reached on Peralta’s error and Tejada went down on strikes. Maness committed a balk to send d’Arnaud to second base and followed up with a strikeout of Niese. Cardinals’ reliever Randy Choate then retired Nieuwenhuis on a ground ball to Peralta to close out the inning.

Carpenter hit a two-out double against Niese in the top of the seventh. Mets’ reliever Daisuke Matsuzaka struck out Ellis to end the inning and Granderson drew a walk against Choate to begin the bottom half. Cards’ reliever Pat Neshek set down the next three batters and Craig singled against the New York’s Carlos Torres with one out in the top of the eighth. Molina hit a double and Peralta popped out to Murphy. Mets’ reliever Scott Rice retired pinch-hitter Matt Adams on a fly ball to right fielder Granderson for the inning’s third out. St. Louis’s Eric Fornataro then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Mets’ reliever Kyle Farnsworth struck out Shane Robinson to open the top of the ninth. Jon Jay followed with a single to left field. Carpenter singled and pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso hit a double to drive home Jay. Trying to score on the play, Carpenter was out at home via a relay throw by shortstop Tejada to catcher d’Arnaud. Farnsworth then retired Holliday on a fly ball to Granderson that ended the game. The Mets had emerged with a victory.