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New York at St. Louis

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N.Y. Mets (73-82)004000001570
St. Louis (86-69) «21000030x692

Cards rally again, move within 1 1/2 games of Braves

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- David Freese and the Cardinals are really enjoying the final stretch.

Freese drove in five runs with a go-ahead three-run homer and a triple, and the surging St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Mets 6-5 on Wednesday night for their 12th victory in 14 games.

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With the victory, the Cardinals moved within 1½ games of Atlanta in the National League wild-card race. St. Louis, a season-high 17 over .500 (86-69), has seven games left and will go for a sweep of the Mets on Thursday.

"The real fun in this game is to play meaningful games this time of year and you have the most fun playing in October," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "The guys are having a lot of fun because we played ourselves back into this. You can feel it."

Freese certainly enjoyed watching his home run, which gave the Cardinals a 6-4 advantage in the seventh.

"That was a good feeling," Freese said. "Obviously, the biggest hit of my career and getting that win is huge."

The Mets fell to 73-82, ensuring the third consecutive losing season for the big-spending ballclub that has been plagued by injuries and off-field financial woes this year.

Jaime Garcia (13-7), making his 30th start, pitched around four unearned runs in 7 2/3 innings. He gave up six hits and struck out five.

"What Jaime did, not getting frustrated and keeping us in the game, was classic," La Russa said.

Jason Motte got four outs for his eighth save in 12 opportunities but allowed a solo home run to Willie Harris in the ninth.

Pujols went 2 for 4 with two runs scored to extend his hitting streak to six games and up his average to .305. Pujols has now reached base safely in 37 consecutive games. He is hitting .500 during his six-game streak (13 for 26).

Allen Craig drove in the Cardinals' other run with an RBI single.

New York manager Terry Collins said the Cardinals might be a tough out if they can make the playoffs.

"They got a good team," Collins said. "The lineup's tough. I know Edwin Jackson will help them pitching-wise. He's a good pitcher. They got a lot of weapons. Coming off the bench, they got speed and defense."

Mets shortstop Jose Reyes went 1 for 4, dropping his average to .330 and tying him with Milwaukee's Ryan Braun for the National League batting lead.

The Mets led 4-3 after six and the Cardinals were going quietly in the seventh when Pujols singled to center off reliever Miguel Batista with two outs.

Collins brought in lefty Daniel Herrera (0-1) to make Lance Berkman bat right-handed, but Berkman foiled the strategy by singling to left.

Collins then went to righty Pedro Beato and Freese tagged him for a 389-foot, opposite-field home run to right to give the Cardinals a 6-4 advantage. The home run was the 10th for Freese, who has 54 RBI.

"I tried to go fastball low and away," Beato said. "I was behind in the count and trying not to walk him in that situation. I left the pitch right out over the middle of the plate and he took a good swing at it."

With a 3-0 lead, Garcia struck out the first two batters to begin the third. But Mets starter Chris Schwinden kept the inning alive with a single to right and Reyes followed with a double down the left-field line. Both scored when Angel Pagan's grounder went under shortstop Rafael Furcal's glove for an error to make it 3-2.

David Wright followed Pagan with an infield single in the hole to shortstop. Pinch-hitter Josh Satin then gave the Mets a 4-3 advantage with a double to the gap in left-center.

Schwinden retired the first two batters he faced to begin the game, but then gave up a double to right to Pujols. He then intentionally walked Berkman, and Freese made him pay for that with a triple down the right-field that scored Pujols and Berkman.

The Cardinals loaded the bases in the second with one out on an infield single by Yadier Molina, a double by Skip Schumaker and a hit-by-pitch to Furcal. Craig singled to center to make it 3-0, but Schwinden got Pujols to pop out to first and Berkman to fly to left the end the threat.

Notes

  • New York's Chris Capuano (11-12) will face the Cardinals' Jake Westbrook (12-8) in the series finale Thursday.
  • Satin pinch-hit for Lucas Duda, who left the game with dizziness after running into the wall trying to catch Freese's triple.
  • Garcia's five strikeouts, giving him 151 for the season. He is the 17th left-handed pitcher to reach 150 strikeouts in a season and the first since Rick Ankiel fanned 194 in 2000.
  • Schumaker's second-inning double snapped an 0-for-15 skid.
 
Copyright 2015 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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David Freese is stoked after his three-run blast puts St. Louis ahead to stay and brings it closer to the wild-card lead.  (US Presswire)
David Freese is stoked after his three-run blast puts St. Louis ahead to stay and brings it closer to the wild-card lead. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
New York

W. Harris
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
St. Louis

D. Freese
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 5
 

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New York Mets
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Reyes, SS4110010 .330
Angel Pagan, CF4100000 .263
David Wright, 3B4110020 .260
Lucas Duda, RF0000000 .292
   a- Josh Satin, PH-1B2012000 .250
   b- Jason Pridie, PH1000000 .218
Nick Evans, 1B-RF4000012 .262
Willie Harris, LF4131000 .257
Ronny Paulino, C3000012 .274
   c- Josh Thole, PH1000010 .265
Justin Turner, 2B3000010 .263
Chris Schwinden, P2110000 .200
   d- Val Pascucci, PH1000001 .167
    Miguel Batista, P0000000 .000
    Danny Herrera, P0000000 .000
    Pedro Beato, P0000000 .000
    Bobby Parnell, P0000000 .000
Totals3357307  
a-doubled for Duda in the 3rd
b-popped out for Satin in the 9th
c-struck out for Paulino in the 9th
d-flied out for Schwinden in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jose Reyes (30, Garcia), Josh Satin (1, Garcia)
HR - Willie Harris (2, Motte)
RBI - Josh Satin 2 (2), Willie Harris (21)
2-OUT RBI - Josh Satin 2 (2), Willie Harris (9)
Team LOB - 2
New York Mets
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Schwinden 6633250 5.06
Miguel Batista (H,7) 0.2111010 4.29
Danny Herrera (L,0-1)0111000 5.19
Pedro Beato (BS,1) 0.1111001 4.41
Bobby Parnell 1000010 3.93
IBB - Berkman by Chris Schwinden
HBP - Furcal (by Chris Schwinden)
WP - Chris Schwinden (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Schwinden 92-57, Miguel Batista 10-7, Danny Herrera 1-1, Pedro Beato 8-4, Bobby Parnell 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Schwinden 8-5, Miguel Batista 1-0, Pedro Beato 1-0, Bobby Parnell 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Schwinden 27, Miguel Batista 3, Danny Herrera 1, Pedro Beato 2, Bobby Parnell 3
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Rafael Furcal, SS3000000 .230
Allen Craig, LF4011020 .308
    Nick Punto, 2B0000000 .261
Albert Pujols, 1B4220003 .305
Lance Berkman, RF3210103 .300
    Corey Patterson, LF0000000 .239
David Freese, 3B4125020 .293
    Daniel Descalso, 3B0000000 .263
Jon Jay, CF4000011 .299
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
Yadier Molina, C3120100 .300
Skip Schumaker, 2B4010002 .284
    Shane Robinson, RF0000000 .000
Jaime Garcia, P3000013 .098
    Adron Chambers, CF1000010 .400
Totals3369627  
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols (27, Schwinden), Skip Schumaker (17, Schwinden)
3B - David Freese (1, Schwinden)
HR - David Freese (10, Beato)
RBI - Allen Craig (33), David Freese 5 (54)
2-OUT RBI - David Freese 5 (23)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Furcal-Schumaker-Pujols, Freese-Schumaker-Pujols, Furcal-Schumaker-Pujols
E - David Freese (11, Misplayed grounder), Rafael Furcal (13, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jaime Garcia (W,13-7) 7.2640050 3.45
Jason Motte (S,8) 1.1111021 1.91
HBP - Duda (by Jaime Garcia)
Pitches-Strikes - Jaime Garcia 91-57, Jason Motte 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaime Garcia 10-7, Jason Motte 1-1
Batters Faced - Jaime Garcia 29, Jason Motte 5
Game Information
Attendance - 40658
Game Time - 2:24
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Al Porter, Third Base - Andy Fletcher