- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Noah Syndergaard was effective enough to win his first game on the road. The New York Mets just lacked the big hit.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling just them having the confidence in me to start the second half on a higher note,” Syndergaard said after a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night. “Unfortunately, we just fell a little short.

Jhonny Peralta hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth inning and Lance Lynn outdueled the Mets rookie right-hander.

“Probably a little different pitch, maybe a little better location, we could have a different result,” Syndergaard said.

Peralta, one of six St. Louis All-Stars, barely cleared the left-field fence on a two-out drive for his 14th homer. Kirk Nieuwenhuis made a leaping effort and his glove ticked the ball that landed in the Mets’ bullpen.

Syndergaard (4-5) hadn’t been sure the ball would carry.

“Kind of yes and no,” he said. “I knew he hit it well and that was his pitch to hit.”

Syndergaard had been 2-0 with a 1.22 ERA in his previous three starts, allowing one run each start, but fell to 0-4 on the road. He was happy with the way he mixed up his pitches, noting he threw curves behind 2-1 in the count to Randal Grichuk and Mark Reynolds.

“Against that lineup and in these conditions, you can’t be too mad about a performance like that,” Syndergaard said.

Curtis Granderson hit his fifth leadoff homer of the season for the Mets, who won four in a row before the All-Star break.

Trevor Rosenthal gave up Ruben Tejada’s RBI infield hit in the ninth, and the Mets had two on before he struck out pinch-hitter John Mayberry Jr. on a changeup for his 27th save in 29 chances.

“Obviously, it’s against one of the great closers in the game,” manager Terry Collins said. “But we looked up at the end of the game and had a chance to win.”

Collins watched the finish from the clubhouse after being ejected by plate umpire Chad Fairchild in the seventh for arguing a called strike on a 3-0 count against Lucas Duda leading off the seventh. It was his third ejection of the season.

“A ball’s a ball. It’s out of the zone,” Collins said. “We hadn’t said a word all game long. We’re in a pennant race here. Those are big calls.

“You get the tying run on base and all of a sudden it’s a different ballgame.”

Lynn (7-5) allowed a run and three hits in seven innings in a game that began in 92-degree heat, retiring 16 of his final 18 batters. He had nine strikeouts with one walk for St. Louis, which leads the majors with a 57-33 record but had lost three straight before the break.

Syndergaard also worked seven innings, allowing two runs and five hits. The rookie limited the Cardinals to two hits the first five innings, but gave up both runs on three hits in the sixth.

Kolten Wong singled, stole second and advanced to third on a wild throw before scoring on Matt Carpenter’s groundout to tie it. Peralta homered one out later. Peter Bourjos added an RBI double in the eighth off Hansel Robles.

It was enough for Lynn. The Cardinals have totaled just 39 runs in 16 of Lynn’s 17 starts, with an eight-run outburst at Cleveland on May 12 the exception.

The Cardinals are a major league-best 32-11 at home and attendance of 44,540 was the 22nd sellout.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: C Travis d’Arnaud (elbow) took batting practice, but Collins said there’s no timetable for his return.

Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia (groin) is scheduled for a side session Saturday and could rejoin the rotation in perhaps 10 days.

UP NEXT

John Lackey (7-5) has a 1.69 ERA in his last six starts, working seven or more innings in five of them. Bartolo Colon (9-7) has lost three straight decisions and the Mets have lost his last four starts.

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