Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards Beat Mets for Fifth Win in a Row; Cardinals 5, Mets 2

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards Beat Mets for Fifth Win in a Row; Cardinals 5, Mets 2

Article excerpt

This just in. The sky is not falling on the Cardinals.

For those who had begun to ponder the end of championship baseball as we know it, consider that the local nine now has the third best record in the National League and the fifth best in the majors.

Michael Wacha, after two mediocre starts, both of which were losses, kept the New York Mets off balance for six innings, and the Cardinals' offense played both big and small ball Tuesday night.

The resultant 5-2 victory before a sellout house of 42,209 at Busch Stadium was their fifth in a row, all on this homestand against the National League Eastern Division, and eighth win in their last nine games. Seven different pitchers have scored those victories, with Jaime Garcia having two.

After dropping to 31-31 on June 6, the Cardinals are a season- high seven games over the break-even mark at 39-32.

The Cardinals chose from every column on the offensive menu. There was a home run by Yadier Molina, his first this month. There was a run scoring-triple by Jon Jay, hitting .405 in his last 12 games. There was a run-scoring double by Matt Holliday and a double by Jhonny Peralta that started a two-run sixth.

There also was a hit batsman (Daniel Descalso) that turned into a run. There was an infield hit by Peter Bourjos that drove in a run. And there was Kolten Wong's second career pinch hit in 19 at-bats, which drove in another run in the sixth off loser Jonathon Niese. Wong also stole his ninth base, but the Cardinals didn't need that.

"This is the type of baseball we expect from ourselves," Jay said.

Veteran second baseman Mark Ellis, who came here as a free agent, said this is the club he had signed up for.

"Everybody's kind of forgot about their numbers," said Ellis, "and are just trying to have good at-bats and play good baseball. And it's a different ballpark than it was the first two months of the season. The ball is traveling better."

Typically, there are more homers and extra-base hits at Busch when the weather heats up, which has put the Cardinals in good stead already this week, with the likelihood the temperatures will stay high the next few days.

The Cardinals had five extra-base hits Tuesday and have had five homers, three by Matt Adams, in the five games on this home stand.

Manager Mike Matheny had said this would happen when the weather changed. "We're not doing anything different in our meetings," he said. "We don't say, 'It's time. It's June. It's time to start hitting for extra bases.'"

More seriously, Matheny said, "When you keep hitting balls hard and not get any results, it starts to wear on you."

Ellis said, "If you've played long enough, you don't panic early in the season. You know your ability is going to rise and you're probably going to do pretty much what you do every year.

"If everybody starts doing what it says on the back of their baseball cards, it's going to be a really good few months. …

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