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St. Louis at New York

St. Louis
N.Y. Mets
W: J. Tavarez (1-1) L: R. Hernandez (2-1)
S: J. Isringhausen (8)
HR: STL - M. Grudzielanek (3), A. Nunez (4)   NYM - None

Walker's sac fly helps Cardinals hold off Mets in matinee

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

NEW YORK -- Long after the aces departed, the St. Louis Cardinals turned the ball over to closer Jason Isringhausen, back on the mound for the first time since April 26.

Trying to protect a one-run lead in the ninth inning, he fell behind Jose Reyes 3-0, then walked him with the count full.

"Committed the No. 1 sin," Isringhausen said. "That's when the adrenaline starts kicking in again."

Reyes advanced to second on a bunt before Isringhausen got out of trouble Saturday, preserving St. Louis' 7-6 win over the New York Mets.

Instead of a pitchers' duel, Mark Mulder and Pedro Martinez let the hitters take control on a breezy afternoon.

"You're not going to have a 1-0 game all the time," said Mulder, whose ERA rose from 2.70 to 3.44.

Kaz Matsui chased Mulder with a tying three-run triple in a four-run sixth inning, but the Mets failed to hold a 6-5 lead in the eighth, when pinch-hitter Larry Walker had a go-ahead sacrifice fly off Roberto Hernandez (2-1).

Mulder had won five straight starts, allowing just five earned runs. But given a 5-2 lead, he gave up singles to Mike Cameron and David Wright in the sixth, and loaded the bases with a 10-pitch walk to Ramon Castro.

Matsui poked his opposite-field triple into the right-field corner.

"It's inexcusable," Mulder said. "I've got to do a better job."

Matsui had been in a 2-for-27 slide that dropped his average to .223. With his defense also shaky, many fans at Shea Stadium booed him.

"There's no booing in Japan," he said through a translator.

Brad Thompson relieved, and pinch-hitter Victor Diaz grounded a single up the middle through the drawn-in infield to put the Mets ahead.

Mulder allowed six runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings. Martinez gave up five runs -- four earned -- and five hits in six innings.

"I didn't have a good changeup today," Martinez said. "It kept flying around. I was leaving it up. Sometimes it's lack of work in the bullpen. I didn't throw this time between starts."

His next scheduled start is Friday in the opener of the first series of the season between the Mets and Yankees.

"Why is that game any more important than the game today?" Martinez said. "I never had issues with the Yankees. They beat me. I beat them."

Trailing 6-5, St. Louis went ahead for good after Hernandez walked Abraham Nunez leading off the eighth. Albert Pujols blooped a single to left, and Jim Edmonds doubled home the tying run.

John Mabry grounded out with the infield in and Mark Grudzielanek, who tied a career high with four RBI, loaded the bases with a walk. Walker batted for So Taguchi and lofted a fly to left that drove in Pujols.

New York almost came back in the ninth. After the walk to Reyes and Miguel Cairo's sacrifice, Isringhausen retired Carlos Beltran on a flyout. The right-hander intentionally walked Cliff Floyd, who is 4-for-12 against him, then struck out Cameron for his eighth save in eight chances.

Isringhausen had been sidelined by a strained abdominal muscle.

"That's not what you want to do, one-run lead, top of the lineup, all kind of danger," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "That's one thing about Izzy, he's never afraid. You give him anything, and he's absolutely fearless."

Julian Tavarez (1-1) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win.

Mets manager Willie Randolph thought the game turned after the Mets went ahead in the sixth. With runners at the corners and none out, Reyes was caught stealing. Thompson then retired Cairo and Beltran.

"We should have scored more runs out of that," Randolph said.

Reyes took off early on his own, and Thompson had plenty of time to step off the rubber and throw him out at second.

"What I did there was wrong," Reyes said. "I just put my head down and ran for the next base."

Martinez's previous appearance against the Cardinals was in Game 3 of last year's World Series, when he allowed three hits in seven shutout innings, retiring his last 14 batters in Boston's 3-0 victory. He got his first four in this one before walking Mabry and giving up a long two-run homer to Grudzielanek.

Grudzielanek made it 3-0 in the fourth with an RBI single. New York pulled within a run in the bottom half when Wright hit an RBI double and scored on Castro's single. Nunez homered leading off the sixth, and Grudzielanek hit a sacrifice fly after Cairo let a grounder to first carom off his glove into foul territory for an error.

Grudzielanek, 0-for-2 against Martinez coming in, sounded surprised by his success against him.

"I played with him for a few years, so I kind of knew what he did back then," he said. "But he's a different pitcher now."


  • Grudzielanek had four RBI for the fifth time, the first since June 1, 2001, for Los Angeles at Houston.
  • Martinez has allowed four homers in his last two starts after giving up one in his first six.
  • Scott Seabol of the Cardinals pinch-hit in the seventh and singled for his first major league hit.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Albert Pujols gives Abraham Nunez props after Nunez tees off in the sixth inning.  (AP)
Albert Pujols gives Abraham Nunez props after Nunez tees off in the sixth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

M. Grudzielanek
AB 2
R 1
H 2
HR 1
St. Louis

A. Nunez
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 1

Related Video

St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS5010011 .319
Abraham Nunez, 3B3211201 .353
Albert Pujols, 1B5110012 .327
Jim Edmonds, CF4121010 .288
John Mabry, RF-LF3210102 .325
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B2124100 .336
So Taguchi, LF3000001 .259
   a- Larry Walker, PH-RF0001000 .283
Einar Diaz, C4000002 .233
    Yadier Molina, C0000000 .229
Mark Mulder, P2000020 .053
    Brad Thompson, P0000000 .000
   b- Scott Seabol, PH1010000 .500
    Ray King, P0000000 .000
    Julian Tavarez, P0000000 .000
   c- Reggie Sanders, PH1000010 .255
    Jason Isringhausen, P0000000 .000
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Taguchi in the 8th
b-singled for Thompson in the 7th
c-struck out for Tavarez in the 9th
2B - Jim Edmonds (7, Hernandez), John Mabry (3, P. Martinez)
HR - Abraham Nunez (4, P. Martinez), Mark Grudzielanek (3, P. Martinez)
SF - Mark Grudzielanek (1), Larry Walker (1)
RBI - Abraham Nunez (9), Jim Edmonds (22), Mark Grudzielanek 4 (15), Larry Walker (16)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Eckstein-Pujols
E - Albert Pujols (4, Wild throw)
St. Louis Cardinals
Mark Mulder 51066230 3.44
Brad Thompson 1200000 1.50
Ray King 0.1000010 2.53
Julian Tavarez (W,1-1) 1.2100010 2.89
Jason Isringhausen (S,8) 1000210 0.96
IBB - Floyd by Jason Isringhausen
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Mulder 103-68, Brad Thompson 12-8, Ray King 6-5, Julian Tavarez 25-14, Jason Isringhausen 17-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Mulder 7-4, Brad Thompson 1-1, Julian Tavarez 3-0, Jason Isringhausen 1-1
Batters Faced - Mark Mulder 26, Brad Thompson 4, Ray King 1, Julian Tavarez 5, Jason Isringhausen 5
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4020111 .258
Miguel Cairo, 1B4010002 .262
Carlos Beltran, CF5010013 .295
Cliff Floyd, LF4000123 .328
Mike Cameron, RF4220112 .429
David Wright, 3B4231000 .265
Ramon Castro, C3121101 .241
Kaz Matsui, 2B4113002 .228
Pedro Martinez, P2000001 .000
   a- Victor Diaz, PH1011000 .294
    Heath Bell, P0000000 .000
    Roberto Hernandez, P0000000 .000
   b- Marlon Anderson, PH1000010 .375
    Mike DeJean, P0000000 .000
a-singled for P. Martinez in the 6th
b-struck out for Hernandez in the 8th
2B - Miguel Cairo (4, Mulder), Mike Cameron (4, Mulder), David Wright (8, Mulder)
3B - Kaz Matsui (1, Mulder)
SH - Miguel Cairo (4)
RBI - David Wright (18), Ramon Castro (3), Kaz Matsui 3 (12), Victor Diaz (15)
CS - Jose Reyes (4, 2nd base by Thompson/Diaz), David Wright (2, 2nd base by Tavarez/Diaz)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Cliff Floyd 1
DP - Reyes-Matsui-Cairo
E - Miguel Cairo (1, Misplayed grounder)
New York Mets
Pedro Martinez 6554242 3.38
Heath Bell (H,3) 1100000 3.60
Roberto Hernandez (BS,1; L,2-1) 1222200 1.96
Mike DeJean 1100020 5.40
Pitches-Strikes - Pedro Martinez 88-58, Heath Bell 11-8, Roberto Hernandez 27-15, Mike DeJean 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Pedro Martinez 5-9, Heath Bell 1-1, Roberto Hernandez 1-2, Mike DeJean 1-0
Batters Faced - Pedro Martinez 25, Heath Bell 3, Roberto Hernandez 7, Mike DeJean 4
Game Information
Attendance - 40921
Game Time - 3:09
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Bob Davidson