NEW YORK -- Steve Trachsel wasn't happy. And he was the winning pitcher.
After the New York Mets battered Mark Mulder for nine runs in his first major league game since June, Trachsel and his bullpen nearly gave back an eight-run lead Wednesday night. Still, the Mets hung on for a nervous 10-8 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals that stretched their winning streak to six.
"More down than up, definitely," said Trachsel, who gave up three homers. "The up part was my pitches, especially my fastball."
Jose Reyes hit a three-run homer, a drive over the left-field bleachers, and Chris Woodward had a three-run double as the Mets built a 10-2 lead.
But Jose Vizcaino, signed by St. Louis earlier in the day, hit a two-run homer in the fifth, and Scott Rolen and Preston Wilson hit consecutive shots in the sixth. Then in the eighth, Wilson hit an RBI double off Chad Bradford and scored on Ronnie Belliard's single.
"A laugher is not always a laugher," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "It seemed like a laugher, but it changed real quick. At least we're not crying, though."
It was almost a mirror image of Tuesday, when the Mets fell behind 7-1, then rallied for an 8-7 win capped by Carlos Beltran's two-run, ninth-inning homer.
Trachsel (13-5) allowed six runs, six hits and three walks in five-plus innings but still managed to win his fourth straight decision and improve to 11-1 since May 17. He walked Mulder in the third on four pitches, then loaded the bases when he walked Chris Duncan ahead of Albert Pujols, who hit a two-run single.
"We gave him a nice little lead and he made it interesting for us," Randolph said.
Trachsel was annoyed that a Beatles tribute band, 1964 The Tribute, repeatedly played when he was ready to throw his first pitch of an inning.
"Somebody needs to tell them when the batter's in the box, you're not supposed to play," he said
Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in 37 chances, giving up a two-out single to Pujols before retiring Rolen on a comebacker. New York, which didn't have a hit after the fourth, extended its home winning streak to 10, and the NL East leaders improved to a season-high 29 games over .500 at an NL-best 77-48.
"You want to set the tone at home," Wagner said.
St. Louis dropped to 8-13 in August but maintained a one-game lead in the NL Central over second-place Cincinnati.
"We made a hellacious comeback," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.
Mulder (6-6) made his first appearance since June 20, when he was chased after 2 1/3 innings by the Chicago White Sox. He allowed nine runs in that one, and he gave up nine runs in this one, too, his ERA ballooning to 6.77. Mulder, coming back from a strained left shoulder, lasted just three-plus innings, giving up nine hits and four walks.
"It wasn't the outcome I wanted, but the arm felt good," he said.
Every Mets starter had a hit by the fourth inning other than Trachsel and Beltran, who had walked twice by then. Reyes, in an 0-for-12 slide coming in, batted in each of the first four innings and had hits in his first three trips. His 15 homers are double his previous high: seven last year.
New York took a 4-0 lead in the first on Carlos Delgado's RBI double and, following an intentional walk to David Wright, a bases-loaded double by Woodward, who had been 0-for-10. After Pujols' single cut the lead in half, Reyes' homer boosted the margin to 7-2 in the bottom half.
Vizcaino originally wasn't in the starting lineup, but La Russa changed his mind and inserted him into the leadoff spot in place of shortstop Aaron Miles.
"I was ready for it," Vizcaino said.
- Regular Cardinals SS David Eckstein, who strained a muscle in his side Friday, was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Saturday.
- Reyes also stole a pair of bases, raising his major league-leading total to 52.
- Jim Edmonds pinch hit and walked in the seventh for the Cardinals. He hasn't started since Aug. 15 because of dizziness caused by post-concussion syndrome.
- Ex-Mets closer Braden Looper was booed when he entered in the eighth.