July 19, 2015: Mets Defeat Cardinals in 18 Innings

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Date: July 19, 2015
Mets starter: Jonathon Niese
Mets: 3
Cardinals: 1
Winning pitcher: Carlos Torres
Key player(s): Kevin Plawecki, Kolten Wong, Ruben Tejada
Key play: Plawecki's RBI single, Wong's home run, Tejada's sacrifice fly

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Sunday afternoon in St. Louis. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. In 18 innings, the Mets came away with a 3-1 win over the Redbirds.

Jonathon Niese and the Cards' Tim Cooney each pitched scoreless ball from the first inning to the fifth. Lucas Duda drew a two-out walk against Cooney in the top of the sixth. Wilmer Flores hit a single and John Mayberry walked to load the bases. St. Louis reliever Seth Maness struck out Kevin Plawecki to end the inning. Niese then yielded just a single to Mark Reynolds in the bottom half.

Maness and the Cardinals' Randy Choate combined to pitch a scoreless top of the seventh. Niese set down the side in order in the bottom of the inning and Michael Cuddyer singled against Redbirds' reliever Sam Tuivailala to lead off the top of the eighth. Duda went down on strikes and Cuddyer advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Flores's ground out to second baseman Kolten Wong moved Cuddyer to third and pinch-hitter Curtis Granderson was given an intentional walk. Granderson stole second and Tuivailala retired Plawecki on an inning-ending grounder to third baseman Pete Kozma. Niese and the Mets' Bobby Parnell then teamed up for a scoreless bottom half.

Each team was shut down on three hits from the ninth inning to the 12th. Granderson doubled against St. Louis reliever Carlos Villanueva to begin the top of the 13th. Plawecki followed with a single to drive home Granderson and give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Ruben Tejada hit a single and Eric Campbell flied out to right fielder Randal Grichuk. Juan Lagares popped out to Wong and an intentional walk to Daniel Murphy loaded the bases. Villanueva got pinch-hitter Johnny Monell on a pop-up to Kozma that ended the inning and Wong homered against the Mets' Jeurys Familia leading off the bottom half. Grichuk went down on strikes and Jhonny Peralta singled. Reynolds was struck out and Yadier Molina followed with a single on which Peralta went to third base. Familia then fanned Tommy Pham for the inning's final out.

From the 14th to the 16th, Mets' reliever Sean Gilmartin pitched one-hit scoreless ball with four strikeouts. Meanwhile, Villanueva and the Cards' Carlos Martinez hurled a trio of shutout frames (during which Glimartin singled in his first major league at bat.) Tejada hit a single to begin the top of the 17th. Campbell was called out on strikes and Lagares popped out to Wong. Murphy was walked intentionally and pinch-hitter Jacob deGrom drew a walk that loaded the bases. Martinez struck out Duda to finish off the inning. New York's Carlos Torres then gave up only a single to Peralta in the bottom half.

Flores and Granderson got back-to-back singles to open the top of the 18th. On a sacrifice bunt, Plawecki reached on Martinez's error to load the bases. Tejada followed with a sacrifice fly to drive home Flores and send Granderson to third. Campbell laid down a sacrifice bunt that scored Granderson for a two-run Mets lead. Martinez then retired Lagares on a pop-up to Wong to close out the inning.

Reynolds flied out to right fielder Granderson to lead off the bottom of the 18th. Molina was also retired on a fly ball to Granderson. Torres then struck out Pham to end the game. The Mets had a long-awaited victory.