Despite weather, Mets top Cardinals

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Cardinals starter Jeff Suppan delivered a pitch in the fourth inning against the New York Mets on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

ST. LOUIS -- The way the rest of the New York Mets saw it, Tom Glavine was due for a break.

Glavine won his fourth straight start after Paul Lo Duca's RBI double snapped a seventh-inning tie in the Mets' 8-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night. Teammates pointed to other victories that he should have had.

"We owed him this win," Lo Duca said. "He arguably could be 8-0. He's thrown that well."

The matchup between teams with the NL's top two records was delayed 1 hour, 41 minutes by rain in the middle of the seventh. The Mets tacked on four runs to a one-run lead in the eighth, aided by Albert Pujols' throwing error and Pujols' scary-looking slip on the plastic on-deck logo while chasing a foul pop, and only a few thousand of a sellout crowd of 39,616 stuck around for the finish.

Glavine (6-2) was unable to hold a three-run lead, allowing the Cardinals to tie it with two in the fifth and one in the sixth. Lo Duca came to the rescue with his double off Jeff Suppan (4-3), his second go-ahead hit in the first seven games of a nine-game trip.

"Anytime you're out of the game in a tie game and your guys get you runs, it's a nice game to win," Glavine said. "It was a good game for us."

Glavine, 40, is tied for the league lead in victories after going 13-13 last year.

"It's the kind of thing that it's hard not to be aware of, but it's not the kind of thing that I'm paying a whole lot of attention to or obsessed by or anything like that," Glavine said. "I know I'm pitching well, and I want to continue to try and pitch well and stay on a roll."

Lo Duca had a game-winning homer at Milwaukee on Saturday, and has five RBIs on the trip.

"I want to be up in that situation," Lo Duca said. "I take pride in getting the job done when I have to in big situations."

Hector Luna and Gary Bennett each had two hits and an RBI for the Cardinals, who lost for just the fifth time in 20 games against the Mets since 2003.

Pujols committed his second error of the season, and second in two games, in the eighth when he tried unsuccessfully to outrace Xavier Nady to first on a sacrifice. Having lost the race, he made an errant toss to second baseman Luna who had been waiting at the bag, and David Wright scored from second on the play.

Jose Reyes ended up with a run-scoring single for his third RBI after Pujols' slip while trying to get a ball either he or Bennett, the catcher, could have caught, and Carlos Beltran added an RBI single.

Jeff Suppan, who had won his previous four starts, gave up four runs on six hits in 6 2-3 innings. He entered the game 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA against the Mets in five career starts, but three of the four batters he walked ended up scoring.

"I felt like I was having to make pitches all night and sometimes I was and sometimes I wasn't," Suppan said. "Anytime you walk guys, especially with a lineup like this, it ends up costing you."

Glavine, who entered the game batting .500, walked with one out in the third and scored when Reyes hit an 0-1 pitch from Suppan over the center-field wall.

The Mets manufactured another run in the fourth on Wright's one-out walk, a groundout and Nady's two-out RBI single.

The bottom of the order helped the Cardinals get back into it. Luna, the No. 8 hitter, had an RBI double, then barely beat the relay from Nady in right on David Eckstein's sacrifice fly that cut the gap to 3-2 in the fifth.

Bennett, the seventh-place hitter, tied it at 3 with a two-out single in the sixth.

Notes: Glavine has 2,397 strikeouts, one ahead of Koufax, and is four behind Dennis Eckersley. ... Luna made an outstanding play at second in the fifth, ranging far to his right and bouncing a one-hop throw to first to nip Reyes. ... Reyes was picked off in the first but stole his 14th base without a throw in the seventh. ... The Cardinals are 16-7 at new Busch Stadium, all of the games sellouts.

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