Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mets Find the Holes, Cool off Cards

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mets Find the Holes, Cool off Cards

Article excerpt

The term "squib hit" barely did justice to the New York Mets' late-inning offense Friday night.

But the Mets reaffirmed the adage that hitting location often is better than velocity as they broke a 4-4 tie with three clunker hits and a wild pitch on a third strike in the seventh and eighth innings. Their 7-4 victory snapped the Cardinals' winning streak at five games.

The Cardinals not only lost this game but starting pitcher Donovan Osborne for at least a couple of weeks because of a groin strain that knocked Osborne out of the game after two innings. Carlos Baerga, who has been accorded a rough ride by the Shea Stadium faithful, was hitting .154 while batting lefthanded when he faced Cardinals righthander T.J. Mathews to open the seventh. But Baerga skimmed a cue-ball-type grounder just over the third-base bag out of the reach of Mike Gallego and wound up with a double. "I think if they call the ball foul, no one argues," Gallego said. "And I think if they call the ball fair, no one argues. You couldn't have placed the ball any better." Rey Ordonez sacrificed and Alex Ochoa, swinging mightily, dribbled a slow roller toward third where Gallego had no chance for an out as Baerga, breaking quickly, scored the go-ahead run. "That was an ugly run," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "But I guarantee you I'd like to have one of those." Mathews (0-1) said, "That ticks you off. If a ball goes barely fair down the line or a ball goes for a home run . . . it really doesn't matter, I guess. But it's hard to swallow that way - to make really good pitches and have an outcome like that." The Mets killed Rick Honeycutt softly in the eighth as they added insurance. Honeycutt, making only his second appearance of the season, hurt himself by walking Bernard Gilkey with one out and then being called for a balk for failing to stop when Todd Hundley would have grounded into a potential double play. …

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