Series: Game 2 of 4

Series tied 1-1 (as of 6/23)

Game 1: Monday, June 22
St. Louis4Final
NY Mets6
Game 2: Tuesday, June 23
St. Louis3Final
NY Mets0
Game 3: Wednesday, June 24
St. Louis0Final
NY Mets11
Game 4: Thursday, June 25
St. Louis2Final
NY Mets3

Cardinals 3

(40-32, 19-16 away)

Mets 0

(35-34, 20-14 home)

    7:10 PM ET, June 23, 2009

    Citi Field, New York, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    STL 001000200 3 8 0
    NYM 000000000 0 2 1

    W: J. Pineiro (6-8)

    L: L. Hernandez (5-2)

    Cardinals-Mets Preview


    The last time they faced the St. Louis Cardinals, the New York Mets were swept in the Gateway City for the first time in five seasons.

    On Monday night at Citi Field, the Mets took a step toward returning the favor.

    Livan Hernandez seeks some redemption of his own Tuesday when he faces a Cardinals club that handed him his only loss of the season.

    New York (35-33), which had lost two straight and eight off 11, snapped St. Louis' three-game winning streak 6-4 in the series opener. Even with Carlos Beltran placed on the disabled list earlier in the day with a bone bruise on his right knee, the Mets tallied 14 hits.

    "It's got to be huge to know we can compete after losing a huge player like Carlos," reliever Brian Stokes said.

    Omir Santos had his first career four-hit game, Luis Castillo was 3 for 3 with an RBI double and Alex Cora added a pair of run-scoring singles.

    Though Carlos Delgado (hip) and Jose Reyes (calf) are also on the disabled list, New York is still batting an NL-best .279. Hernandez (5-1, 4.18 ERA) has been a beneficiary of this -- he is among the league leaders, receiving 5.65 runs per start.

    The right-hander is 4-0 with a 3.39 ERA in 10 starts since a 12-8 loss at St. Louis on April 23 when he yielded seven runs and nine hits over 4 1/3 innings.

    It was his shortest outing in 17 career starts versus the Cardinals, who earned their first three-game sweep over the Mets at Busch Stadium since Aug. 6-8, 2004.

    Hernandez was in line for a win in his last outing -- allowing just two runs over seven innings -- but New York lost 5-4 to Baltimore on Thursday when closer Francisco Rodriguez blew his second save of the season.

    "He's the best closer in the game," Hernandez said. "We can't ever doubt he's going to close the game, but sometimes that's not the way that people see it. He tried, and it just didn't happen."

    Hernandez is 2-0 with a 3.55 ERA in four starts at home.

    The NL Central-leading Cardinals go for their first win at the Mets' new ballpark with Joel Pineiro (5-8, 3.76) on the mound. The veteran right-hander, though, has lost his last five starts and eight of his last nine.

    Pineiro pitched well in Thursday's 6-3 loss to Detroit, but he gave up four runs -- one earned -- in the first inning.

    "I thought he did a really good job of continuing to compete after that disappointing first inning," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said of Pineiro, who retired 16 straight beginning with the final out of the first.

    Pineiro had to be carried off the field by teammates after the seventh inning due to severe cramping. He's 2-0 with a 3.96 ERA in four career starts against the Mets, including a eight-inning effort April 22 when St. Louis won 5-2.

    After batting .500 with three homers and 10 RBIs in a three-game sweep at Kansas City over the weekend, reigning NL player of the week Albert Pujols went 1 for 4 on Monday. He hit two homers off Hernandez on April 23, and leads the major leagues with 26.

    David Wright went 1 for 3 with two walks in the series opener. He is hitting .435 (10 for 23) in his last six home games against the Cardinals.

    New York has won eight of 11 at home versus St. Louis.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     St. LouisNew York
    Current StreakL3W3
    Last 102-85-5

    Pitching Matchup

    St. LouisNew York
    J. Pineiro
    15-12, 3.49 ERA

    Last Game:
    10/4 at STL
    5.0 IP, 3 ER
    Dec = ND
    L. Hernandez
    9-12, 5.44 ERA

    Last Game:
    10/2 at ATL
    6.1 IP, 3 ER
    Dec = Win

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.St. LouisNew York
    1. S. Schumaker, LF A. Cora, SS
    2. C. Duncan, LF D. Murphy, 1B
    3. A. Pujols, 1B D. Wright, 3B
    4. R. Ludwick, RF F. Tatis, LF
    5. R. Ankiel, CF R. Church, RF
    6. Y. Molina, C O. Santos, C
    7. K. Greene, 3B F. Martinez, CF
    8. J. Pineiro, P L. Castillo, 2B
    9. B. Ryan, SS L. Hernandez, P