Home truly is where the heart — and apparently power — is. On a night when Jerry Manuel was serving a one-game suspension, the Mets exploded for eight runs as they beat up on Cardinals ace Adam Wainright. That’s more runs scored than in the past five losses combined.
Caption: Carlos Beltran (15) and on-deck batter Josh Thole (30) greet Jeff Francoeur (12) at the plate after Francouer hit a fourth-inning, three-run home run off St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright on July 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
It looked like it was going to be another long night in first inning as Mets starter Jon Niese got into trouble. He allowed two singles to lead off. He got the first out, but it advanced the runners to second and third. However, Niese was able to limit the damage to one run.
After that, he settled in and didn’t give up another run. He walked two, struck out just one but only gave up seven hits, three of which were in the first inning.
With two Cardinals on base in the seventh inning, one thanks to a Mets error, Manny Acosta came in and relieved Niese. Acosta was able to escape the inning but allowed three straight batters to reach in the eighth. That’s when Raul Valdes came and cleaned up the mess, only allowing one inherited runner to score. Francisco Rodriguez cleaned up the ninth.
The real story tonight, however, was the offense. It was powered by two home runs, a three-run shot by Jeff Francoeur, who was replacing the ailing Jason Bay, in the fourth and a two-run blast by Jose Reyes in the sixth. Niese, who had singled beforehand, scored on Reyes’ no-doubter.
Carlos Beltran and Luis Castillo had two hits apiece. Beltran drove in a run with a bloop in fifth inning. Also in the that inning, David Wright hit a sac fly to score Castillo. The Mets also got a run in the second off an RBI groundout by Ike Davis.
The Mets picked up ground on the Braves who lost but are still 2 1/2 games behind the Phillies. Johan Santana will try to keep things going Wednesday but will have a tough job as he faces Jaime Garcia. The Mets hope tonight’s offense wasn’t a fluke like their six-run win over the Dodgers on Friday was.