|St. Louis (40-32) «||0||0||1||0||0||0||2||0||0||3||8||0|
|N.Y. Mets (35-34)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||1|
Pineiro pitched a career-best two-hitter to stop a five-start skid, dominating New York again and leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a rain-delayed 3-0 victory Tuesday night.
"That was classic," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.
Albert Pujols smacked a two-run single and Pineiro matched the Mets at the plate by himself. He doubled and scored in the third inning, then singled in the fourth.
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Relying on a precise and steady sinker, Pineiro (6-8) got an astounding 22 outs on the ground in his fifth career shutout and 11th complete game. His previous win also was a shutout, a three-hitter in a 3-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on May 19.
"It's something you feel when you go out there. When you see something is working, you stay with it," Pineiro said. "Obviously, they know you are going to throw the sinker. But if I keep it down, they can't hit it. It makes my curveball and slider better."
Pineiro walked one, struck out one and hit David Wright with a pitch. The right-hander improved to 3-0 with a 2.91 ERA in five starts against the Mets, including a 5-2 win on April 22 in St. Louis.
He also tossed eight innings of three-hit ball in a 3-0 Cardinals victory at Shea Stadium on Sept. 27, 2007, contributing to the first of New York's consecutive late-season swoons.
"The guy pitched amazing," Mets starter Livan Hernandez said.
The game took only 2 hours, 13 minutes, not including a 52-minute rain delay in the third.
"You can't make any adjustments when he's got a game plan, he's sticking to it and he's executing that game plan," Wright said. "He went out there, had a good outing. There's really nothing that we could have done more besides trying to find some holes, and that wasn't happening tonight."
With a runner on in the fifth, Hernandez (5-2) struck out Pujols on a balloon of a curve that registered 66 mph. But the slugger paid him back in the seventh.
Hernandez walked Chris Duncan with first base open, forcing him to pitch to Pujols with the bases loaded. The two-time MVP lined a two-run single to left, making it 3-0 and giving him 70 RBI.
Pujols is 5 for 5 with three homers and 16 RBI with the bases loaded this year.
Two mistakes by the Mets' defense helped St. Louis take the lead.
Batting eighth, Pineiro opened the third with a long double to left. He stayed at second on a bunt by Brendan Ryan, credited with a single when Hernandez looked toward third before throwing too late to first.
"That's a play I've got to make right there. If it's 0-0, who knows what happens after that?" Murphy said, before detailing his rough night at the plate. "I got the same four pitches, four at-bats, and I didn't do anything with it."
|Joel Pineiro points to the sky after an outing where he records 22 outs on the ground. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Skip Schumaker, 2B-LF||3||1||2||0||1||0||0||.299|
|Chris Duncan, LF||3||0||0||0||1||0||4||.251|
|Joe Thurston, PR-2B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.225|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||3||0||1||2||1||1||1||.328|
|Ryan Ludwick, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||5||.235|
|Rick Ankiel, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.238|
|Yadier Molina, C||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.279|
|Khalil Greene, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.217|
|Joel Pineiro, P||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.179|
|Brendan Ryan, SS||4||1||2||0||0||0||1||.309|
|2B - Skip Schumaker (14, Hernandez), Joel Pineiro (1, Hernandez)|
|RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (70)|
|SB - Skip Schumaker (2, 2nd base off Hernandez/Santos)|
|CS - Albert Pujols (3, 2nd base by Hernandez/Santos)|
|PK - Joe Thurston (1, Hernandez)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Ryan-Thurston-Pujols|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Joel Pineiro (W,6-8)||9||2||0||0||1||1||0||3.40|
|HBP - Wright (by Joel Pineiro)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Joel Pineiro 100-62|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joel Pineiro 21-3|
|Batters Faced - Joel Pineiro 29|
|New York Mets|
|Alex Cora, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.281|
|Daniel Murphy, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.249|
|David Wright, 3B||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.346|
|Fernando Tatis, LF||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.248|
|Ryan Church, RF||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.273|
|Omir Santos, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.290|
|Fernando Martinez, CF||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.185|
|Luis Castillo, 2B||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||.284|
|Livan Hernandez, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.125|
|Elmer Dessens, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Jeremy Reed, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.288|
|a-singled for Dessens in the 9th|
|SH - Livan Hernandez (7)|
|CS - Luis Castillo (3, 2nd base by Pineiro/Molina)|
|Team LOB - 2|
|DP - Cora-Castillo-Murphy|
|E - Daniel Murphy (6, Throwing)|
|New York Mets|
|Livan Hernandez (L,5-2)||7||8||3||2||3||3||0||4.05|
|IBB - Pujols by Livan Hernandez|
|Pitches-Strikes - Livan Hernandez 108-65, Elmer Dessens 17-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Livan Hernandez 7-9, Elmer Dessens 5-0|
|Batters Faced - Livan Hernandez 30, Elmer Dessens 6|
|Attendance - 38903|
|Game Time - 2:13|
|Temperature - 76|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Dale Scott|