|St. Louis (33-40)||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||8||2|
|N.Y. Mets (42-32) «||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||3||0|
Bamboozled by Maroth's slow stuff, Green hit a leadoff home run in the 11th inning against Russ Springer to beat St. Louis 2-1 on Monday night in the Cardinals' first visit to Shea Stadium since winning Game 7 of the NL Championship Series last October.
"I haven't pulled a home run like that in a long time," Green said.
The Mets matched a season high with their fourth victory in a row despite getting only three hits. The NL East leaders won their seventh straight regular-season game against St. Louis overall.
Green connected for his seventh homer, sending a full-count fastball from Springer (3-1) off the scoreboard in right-center field. It was the Mets' first hit since Carlos Gomez homered in the third inning.
"When it got to 3-2, I felt he has got to throw a strike here. I figured he would throw me a fastball. I wasn't necessarily trying to hit a home run, I was just trying to drive one somewhere," Green said.
Green was hitless in three tries against Maroth, who did everything except win in his NL debut. "Maroth threw a great game and kept us off-balance," Green said.
"It was one of those days when I didn't feel like I had a lot when I went out there," Springer said. "I guess it was the first walk-off homer I've ever given up."
Minus the playoff drama and much action, the crowd of 40,075 had little to cheer for most of the night. The Mets went seven innings without a hit against Maroth and reliever Ryan Franklin while the banged-up Cardinals had ample soft outs, too.
Traded from Detroit to St. Louis last Friday for a player to be named, Maroth got off to an outstanding start in a new league.
"It's a little surreal," he said. "You like to make a good first impression."
Maroth quickly introduced himself to catcher Gary Bennett -- gesturing what each of his first eight warmup pitches would be -- and then shut down the Mets on two hits for 7 1/3 innings.
"I'm sure they didn't have much to go off of," Maroth said.
Throwing barely over 80 mph, he got Jose Reyes and others to take several awkward swings. Maroth helped himself by catching a pair of runners leaning the wrong way and picking them off first.
Maroth neatly slapped a single in a bunt situation -- injured teammate David Eckstein offered his bat before the game -- put down a sacrifice bunt and stole his first base in the majors. Maroth also did something equally rare, drawing applause from Mets fans when he exited during a double switch.
"After three or four innings, you should know what he's doing to you," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "He's been a good pitcher in the American League. He knows how to pitch."
Mets starter Jorge Sosa pitched six effective innings against the team he finished up with last year. He spent the final two months with St. Louis as a reliever, was left off the postseason roster and still was rewarded with a World Series ring.
So Taguchi extended his career-high hitting streak to 17 games with a double and also had an RBI grounder that tied it at 1. Adam Kennedy opened the Cardinals fifth with a single off Sosa's leg for his 1,000th major league hit and later scored.
The Cardinals blew a second-and-third, none-out threat in the seventh, set up by Maroth's single and a daring double steal. Reliever Pedro Feliciano escaped the jam, retiring Scott Spiezio on a comebacker.
Missing injured Jim Edmonds, Chris Carpenter, Molina and Eckstein, these Cardinals hardly resembled the club that won at Shea last fall. Of the 25 players on St. Louis' roster for that NLCS, only 12 were active for this series.
"This team is no reflection of last year's team," said star third baseman Scott Rolen, who sat out because of a bruised left foot.
|The Mets eagerly wait for Shawn Green's arrival at home plate after his walk-off homer in the 11th. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|St. Louis Cardinals|
|So Taguchi, CF||5||0||1||1||0||2||2||.297|
|Aaron Miles, SS||5||0||1||0||0||1||4||.312|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||4||0||1||0||1||1||1||.300|
|Scott Spiezio, 3B||4||0||0||0||1||2||4||.277|
|Chris Duncan, LF||3||0||1||0||1||2||1||.273|
|Ryan Franklin, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Skip Schumaker, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.220|
|Russ Springer, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Juan Encarnacion, RF||5||0||1||0||0||0||4||.265|
|Adam Kennedy, 2B||5||1||1||0||0||1||4||.206|
|Gary Bennett, C||4||0||1||0||1||1||1||.234|
|Mike Maroth, P||2||0||1||0||0||1||0||.333|
|Ryan Ludwick, LF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.241|
|a-grounded out for Franklin in the 11th|
|2B - So Taguchi (10, Sosa)|
|SH - Mike Maroth (1)|
|RBI - So Taguchi (14)|
|SB - Gary Bennett (1, 3rd base off Smith/Lo Duca), Mike Maroth (1, 2nd base off Smith/Lo Duca)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|DP - Spiezio-Pujols|
|E - Albert Pujols 2 (6, Throwing)|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Russ Springer (L,3-1)||0||1||1||1||0||0||1||2.96|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mike Maroth 67-40, Ryan Franklin 5-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Maroth 10-7, Ryan Franklin 6-1|
|Batters Faced - Mike Maroth 25, Ryan Franklin 8, Russ Springer 1|
|New York Mets|
|Jose Reyes, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.319|
|Jose Valentin, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.280|
|Carlos Beltran, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.272|
|David Wright, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||0||0||.286|
|Carlos Delgado, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.225|
|Paul Lo Duca, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.282|
|Shawn Green, RF||4||1||1||1||0||1||2||.290|
|Carlos Gomez, LF||3||1||1||1||0||1||0||.279|
|Jorge Sosa, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.125|
|Joe Smith, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Pedro Feliciano, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Ricky Ledee, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
|Billy Wagner, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Aaron Heilman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Feliciano in the 8th|
|HR - Shawn Green (7, Springer), Carlos Gomez (2, Maroth)|
|RBI - Shawn Green (27), Carlos Gomez (11)|
|CS - Jose Valentin (1, 2nd base by Maroth/Bennett), David Wright (1, 2nd base by Maroth/Bennett)|
|Team LOB - 2|
|DP - Reyes-Valentin-Delgado|
|New York Mets|
|Aaron Heilman (W,6-3)||1||1||0||0||0||2||0||3.86|
|IBB - Pujols by Joe Smith|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jorge Sosa 92-56, Joe Smith 22-11, Pedro Feliciano 10-6, Billy Wagner 21-11, Aaron Heilman 10-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jorge Sosa 5-7, Joe Smith 1-0, Pedro Feliciano 2-1, Billy Wagner 1-2, Aaron Heilman 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Jorge Sosa 25, Joe Smith 5, Pedro Feliciano 4, Billy Wagner 6, Aaron Heilman 4|
|Attendance - 40075|
|Game Time - 3:19|
|Temperature - 77|
|Umpires - Home - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Larry Young|