ST. LOUIS (AP) - Lance Lynn refused to take the easy way out and blame the heat.
“I don’t know if you saw my last hitter,” Lynn said after the St. Louis Cardinals lost 3-2 to the New York Mets in 91-degree heat on Wednesday. “I was throwing 95 (mph), I was just fine.”
The opposing pitcher’s bat was the biggest reason Lynn was out of the game after six innings and 88 pitches.
Bartolo Colon worked eight dominant innings and keyed the go-ahead rally with his first career extra-base hit, helping the Mets avoid a three-game sweep.
“The double, just a nice, short stroke,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “He’s not known for his bat. That started the toughest inning for Lance.”
Eric Young and David Wright had an RBI apiece in a two-run sixth that put the Mets up by a run, and Young added an RBI double off Seth Maness in the seventh - a run aided by Colon’s second sacrifice of the game. A day after dropping their sixth straight series in St. Louis, the Mets ended an eight-game road losing streak dating to June 3.
Lynn (7-5) notched his 500th career strikeout and had worked 13 consecutive scoreless innings before running into just enough trouble to sink the Cardinals. He allowed five hits and two runs.
“What happened in the sixth cost us the game,” Lynn said. “I’ve got to be better in that situation. I was throwing the ball pretty well and let it get out of hand there for a couple hitters.”
Matt Carpenter hit his third career leadoff homer for the Cardinals, who lost for the second time in nine games. They had just one runner in scoring position against Colon (7-5), who retired 13 in a row before Daniel Descalso singled with two outs in the eighth.
The 41-year-old Colon was 0 for 43 at the plate since June 10, 2005, when he was with the Angels and singled off the Mets’ Mike DeJean. He had taken only 17 at-bats while in the American League from 2006-13.
Colon doubled just inside the third-base line to open the sixth. He scored his second career run, and first since 2002 with the Expos at Milwaukee, when Young followed with a double.
“It was a good swing, in all honesty,” Lynn said. “I was surprised by it. But I’ve got to make a better pitch, in all honesty.”
Colon won his fifth straight decision and matched his season best for innings, needing just 86 pitches. He allowed four hits, had a season-low one strikeout and walked none.
The Mets batted the pitcher eighth the first two games of the series but returned to a traditional look for the finale with Colon taking a turn.
Left-hander Dana Eveland retired lefty swinging Matt Adams for the final out and his second career save, and first since 2005, after Allen Craig’s infield RBI single off Jenrry Mejia. The Mets won for just the fourth time in 15 games.
Wright just missed giving the Mets three doubles in four at-bats, settling for the go-ahead RBI single. Wright beat the relay to second on an opposite-field flare down the right field line but was tagged out by Descalso when he tried to switch feet.
Carpenter also doubled for the Cardinals after getting a day off.
“At this time of the year it’s probably more mental,” Matheny said. “Mentally he had a nice break and came back out and had a nice day.”
NOTES: The Cardinals begin a four-game series against the Phillies Thursday with Shelby Miller (7-5, 3.42) opposing David Buchanan (2-3, 3.97). The Mets begin a four-game set at Miami with Zack Wheeler (2-7, 4.38) facing Andrew Heaney, making his major league debut. … Cardinals CF Jon Jay got his first assist of the season throwing out Daniel Murphy going for a double in the fourth and is batting .400 (16 for 40) his last 13 games.
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