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May 8, 2024 5:55 am

Cardinals, minus Willson Contreras, hope to slow Mets

Cardinals, Willson Contreras, Mets

A bad start to the season got worse for the St. Louis Cardinals when they lost catcher Willson Contreras to a broken left forearm during their 7-5 loss to the New York Mets on Tuesday.

The Cardinals will try to regroup Wednesday afternoon when they finish their three-game home series with the Mets.

Contreras, who had been the hottest St. Louis hitter, was injured when his arm interfered with J.D. Martinez’s bat swing while the Cardinals were enduring their fourth consecutive loss and sixth defeat in seven games.

“It’s a tough one,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “(Contreras) was doing such a phenomenal job. He’s a great competitor, he brings so much to the club, performance-wise but also his competitive nature. To see him go down was definitely tough.”

Ivan Herrera, St. Louis’ backup catcher, went 2-for-4 after replacing Contreras in the second inning. Catcher Pedro Pages, who was sent to the minors on Sunday, likely will return to fill Contreras’ roster spot.

In the other dugout, New York’s Brandon Nimmo went 3-for-9 with two homers, three runs and four RBIs as the Mets won the first two games of the series.

“I have felt like it’s coming around,” Nimmo said. “I still feel like there’s more in the tank I can get better at, but I also believe we have just stayed the course and been trying to make small adjustments along the way and not change too much.”

Pete Alonso, who was 1-for-29 in his previous nine games, hit a two-run double and a solo homer on Tuesday.

The Mets will give the ball Wednesday to left-hander Jose Quintana (1-3, 5.20 ERA), who will look to rebound from his worst outing of the season. He allowed eight runs on 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays as the Mets lost 10-8 on Friday.

“I felt great,” Quintana said after the game. “I just need to get more sharp. I’m going to keep competing. I just have to turn the page and get focused. When you get that support, it’s very frustrating to not take advantage of that.”

Prior to that outing, Quintana allowed two runs or fewer in four of six starts. He held the Cardinals to one run on three hits over eight innings on April 28 in a game the Mets eventually won 4-2 in 11 innings.

“He has been giving us five, six innings,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said after Quintana’s loss to the Rays. “He has always kept us in the game. Today, it got out of hand and he didn’t have it. But overall, he has been that guy who’s going to keep us in games. Today, it wasn’t the case.”

Quintana is 6-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 14 career starts against the Cardinals.

The Cardinals will turn to right-hander Sonny Gray (4-1, 0.89 ERA) while trying to pause their free fall.

Gray threw seven scoreless innings in his latest start, a 3-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday. He allowed three hits while striking out six batters and walking one.

“He’s a real one,” Marmol said. “I can’t say enough about the way he prepares and his ability to execute. He just does a phenomenal job. … He knows what he’s good at, but he also knows what the opposition is not good at and he attacks it extremely well.”

Gray earned a 7-4 victory over the Mets on April 27. He allowed four runs, one earned, on four hits, including a two-run homer by Alonso, in six innings. He struck out nine and walked three.

In his career, Gray is 4-0 with a 2.31 ERA in four starts against the Mets.

–Field Level Media

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