Omar Quintanilla nailed a solo shot off Michael Wacha to give the Mets a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning. And Marlon Byrd brought home David Wright. However, Kirk Nieuwenhuis left them loaded when he grounded out to Pete Kozma for the final out.
Then the wheels came off. Jon Jay reached base in the 5th when Daniel Murphy, who started 1st Base in place of the sent-down Ike Davis, misplayed a toss to Jeremy Hefner. A Kozma double moved Jay to 3rd, then came home thanks to a Michael Wacha Sac-grounder. Yadier Molina tied the game with his grounder, and then Allen Craig pushed the Cardinals into the lead with his 5th of the year, scoring three. At the end of the inning, the Cardinals led 6-2, with all but one of those runs were unearned due to the Murphy error.
From there, the Mets bats failed to click, as they sent only 4 men to the plate in the bottom 5th, 3 in the 6th, 3 in the 7th, 3 in the 8th and 4 in the 9th. Only Jordany Valdespin gained a hit during that span, leading off the 5th. Justin Turner was the lone other base runner, reaching on a walk in the 9th inning.
Leaving the bases loaded in the bottom 1st was a turning point for the Mets, as they produced only three hits after that. One of those hits was immediately erased as Nieuwenhuis hit into a 4-6-3 double play in the 4th.
The runs may not have been earned, but the loss was Jeremy Hefner's fault. As one of the lower men on the Mets rotation, Hefner did not make a strong case for himself in this game as he only struck out two, and gave up 8 hits as the E-3 seemed to rattle him in the 5th inning. A performance like that could send him to the bullpen once Zach Wheeler gets called up from Las Vegas.
Michael Wacha struck out 4 and walked 3 as he earns his first career Major League victory.
Shelby Miller (7-3, 1.91) vs. Dillon Gee (4-6, 5.20)
First Pitch: 7:10pm
It's Matt Harvey Eve, and Dillon Gee gets the ball as the Mets hope to even the series. Gee is on a two-game win streak, beating the Nationals last time out as he pitched 7 innings, striking out 7 as he gave up 9 hits. Shelby Miller is on a two-game win streak as well, winning over the Arizona Diamondbacks, striking out 9 in 6 innings pitched.
The Mets need to get some hits, and make them count. Given 6 opportunities to bring a runner in scoring position home on Tuesday, the Mets failed to bring any home, including that Nieuwenhuis inning-ending out that left the bases loaded.
PREGAME COVERAGE: 6:30PM on 1230 FOX Sports Radio