Mets Blow Early Lead, Fall to Cardinals

A 5-1 lead going into the bottom of the second inning was not enough for the New York Mets, who fell 14-9 to the St. Louis Cardinals in nine innings of spring training baseball on Wednesday afternoon at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

The Mets got off to a quick start, with RBI singles from J.D. Davis, Luis Guillorme, and Tomás Nido in the top of the first inning to take a 3-0 lead. Nolan Arenado, the newly acquired third baseman for the Cardinals, got one right back for St. Louis in the bottom of the first with an RBI single to right center to bring home Tommy Edman.

Kevin Pillar, who scored the opening run of the game, and Davis both scored on an error by left fielder Austin Dean to put the Mets up 5-1. But the lead quickly diminished to one after John Nogowski homered to left center field off starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff. The Cardinals then took the lead in the third after a double off Jacob Barnes by Andrew Knizner brought home Dylan Carlson and Evan Mendoza. Knizner then scored on a single by Justin Williams to put the Cards up 7-5 after three. Barnes, who did not record three outs before the inning was called due to his pitch count, finished the afternoon with two walks — one hit batter — and allowed three earned runs.

The Mets had a chance to tack on some runs in the fifth inning after loading the bases against Connor Jones. The pitcher walked Mallex Smith to bring home José Martínez, putting New York within one run. But the inning got called after just one out and bases loaded as Jones exceeded 30 pitches.

Tom Windle took the mound for the Mets in the bottom of the sixth and, despite striking out the first two batters he faced, gave up three runs on two hits to make it a 10-6 ball game. Two two-run home runs in the eighth inning off Marcel Renteria by José Rondón and former Mets catcher Ali Sánchez extended the lead to 14-6.

In the top of the ninth, the Mets showed signs of life after scoring three runs off Junior Fernández, but it was not enough to complete the comeback.

Pillar, Davis, and Guillorme were bright spots offensively for the Mets, combining for six of the team’s 13 hits and two RBI. On the mound, Franklyn Kilomé, Oscar De La Cruz, and Stephen Nogosek all shined, allowing no hits in three innings.

The Mets (1-2) will look to bounce back on Thursday afternoon against the Washington Nationals (0-2) at Clover Park.

(Photo: Empire Sports Media)

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