Game Report: Mets 6, Cardinals 5

By Rob Rains

Losing to the Mets Friday night at Busch Stadium guaranteed that the Cardinals will enter the All-Star break with a losing record for the first time since 2007.

The Cardinals needed to sweep the three-game series to reach .500 but now can’t be better than two games under that mark even if they win on Saturday and Sunday.

Carlos Martinez was roughed up for the second consecutive start, allowing seven hits and five runs in just five innings. He will head to the All-Star game with a losing record of 6-8 and an ERA of 3.40.

The loss was the 16th one-run loss for the Cardinals this season. The only team in the National League with more is the Phillies with 22.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate:
Four of the Cardinals runs came on solo homers, hit back to back, in back to back innings off the same pitcher, Mets starter Jacob deGrom. Randal Grichuk and Paul DeJong homered in the third, and Dexter Fowler and Jedd Gyorko did it in the fourth, giving the Cardinals four homers in the span of seven batters … Fowler’s homer came in his first game back from the disabled list as he hit third for the first time this season and first time since he was with Houston in 2014. It was the first homer by a Cardinals’ third-place hitter since Stephen Piscotty hit one on June 6. He is the sixth player who has started a game hitting third this season … Other than the four home runs, the Cardinals’ offense consisted of a double by DeJong and five singles. Their other run scored on a sacrifice fly by Gyorko in the eighth.

On the mound: This was the sixth consecutive game in which the Cardinals’ starter did not pitch six innings. Martinez has now lost three consecutive decisions and the Cardinals have lost his last four starts … Martinez allowed five runs for the second consecutive start after giving up four runs only once in his previous 12 starts … The other Mets’ run scored off John Brebbia in the seventh.

Key stat: Piscotty was moved to second in the order and was 1-of-4, but over his last 13 games, including 11 starts, he is just 9-of-44, a .204 average, and has driven in just four runs. He has 15 strikeouts over that stretch.

Worth noting:
To make room for Fowler the Cardinals optioned Jose Martinez to Memphis one day after he was the starting third place hitter. Manager Mike Matheny admitted Luke Voit’s success since he joined the team was a factor in sending Martinez down … Matt Carpenter committed his third error in five games at second base. He had four errors in 40 games at the position last year … The six homers were one short of the combined record for most home runs in a game at Busch 3, The record of 7 has been done twice, the last time on April 15 last year … Kevin Siegrist made his first rehab appearance for Springfield on Friday night and pitched one inning, throwing 13 strikes among his 16 pitches. He allowed one hit and struck out one. Kolten Wong had a scheduled day off … Zach Duke also worked a scoreless inning on his rehab assignment, at Memphis, walking one … The Cardinals were 40-45 at the break in 2007. Last year at the break they were 46-42.

Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start in Saturday’s 3:10 p.m. game while Zack Wheeler will start for the Mets.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains