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Apr 28, 2024 8:43 am

Cardinals look to score early, often vs. Mets

cardinals mets goldschmidt

This weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals are getting leads — and wins — over the New York Mets by scoring early.

As a result, the Cardinals can complete a three-game sweep Sunday afternoon when they visit the Mets for the finale of a three-game series.

The Cardinals outscored the Mets 11-6 in the first two games. St. Louis followed Friday’s 4-2 victory, in which it took a four-run lead in the third inning, with a 7-4 win on Saturday by getting four runs in the opening frame.

Paul Goldschmidt highlighted the big inning Saturday with a two-run double and also scored the sixth run for the Cardinals, who have scored 22 times while winning four of five games. Friday’s quick start occurred after Alec Burleson hit a three-run homer in the second inning and Willson Contreras homered in the third.

“That’s huge,” said St. Louis starter and Saturday’s winner, Sonny Gray. “You win a game last night and you come back today and you jump on them early. It sets the tone for the game. It was fun to be a part of.”

Brendan Donovan doubled twice in support of Gray, including the leadoff two-base hit that enabled him to score on Nolan Arenado’s single for the first run. Arenado reached base twice and has reached in 25 straight games, the longest active streak in the majors.

“Obviously that’s helpful, get some runs, score early, middle, late, whenever we can, but to get some early was nice,” said Goldschmidt, who is batting .396 in his past 13 games against the Mets in New York.

New York followed an 0-5 start this season by winning 12 of 15, a stretch that included a six-game winning streak. Since then, the Mets are 1-5.

Their offense Saturday consisted of a two-run single by Brandon Nimmo and a two-run homer by Pete Alonso in the fifth inning following a rare error by Arenado at third base.

The Mets struck out 13 times and were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

Francisco Lindor struck out four times and popped out with the bases loaded in the ninth.

“I’ve got to put the ball in play,” said Lindor after his average dropped to .198. “It’s an uphill fight for me. Just got to keep grinding.”

Right-hander Lance Lynn (1-0, 2.81 ERA), who has allowed two runs or less in three of his first five starts, will pitch for the Cardinals in the series finale. On Monday, Lynn allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings in a no-decision at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he also tied a season high with seven strikeouts.

Lynn is 3-3 with a 2.33 ERA in nine career appearances (seven starts) against the Mets. He has not faced them since July 2017.

Left-hander Jose Quintana (1-2, 4.21 ERA), who is coming off his worst appearance of the season, will go for the Mets on Sunday. He took the loss Monday against the San Francisco Giants when he allowed season highs of five runs on seven hits in five innings of a 5-2 setback.

Quintana, who made 12 starts for the Cardinals in the final two months of 2022, is 6-4 with a 4.29 ERA in 13 career starts against them.

–Field Level Media

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