AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Lance Lynn overcame early control woes and St. Louis used a three-run seventh inning to beat the New York Mets 6-3 on Monday night.
Lynn (6-1) allowed three runs on three hits and four walks the first two innings. He only gave up one hit and one walk in his last five innings. He is 4-0 at home this season. It was the Cardinals' 10th win in the past 12 games.
Rick Ankiel, signed by the Mets earlier in the day after clearing waivers and playing against the team that revived his career as a position player, just missed a diving catch on Ty Wigginton's pinch-hit bloop double to shallow center off Scott Rice (1-3) to open the seventh.
Matt Carpenter followed Wigginton's hit with a sharp grounder off Rice's leg and the ball rolled into foul territory down the first-base line. Wigginton never stopped running and his head-first slide barely beat the tag to snap a 3-3 tie. Matt Holliday homered with one out and Yadier Molina had an RBI double with two outs, both off Scott Atchison for the three-run cushion.
Daniel Murphy had three hits with a two-run double for the Mets, busting out of a 7-for-54 slump with one RBI the previous 14 games. The Mets have dropped four straight.
Lynn threw a career-high 125 pitches, four more than the previous high exactly one year ago in a loss to the Braves. Three relievers worked the last two innings with Edward Mujica earning his 10th save in 10 chances.
Lynn threw 54 pitches and Mets starter Jeremy Hefner needed 46 the first two innings in a game tied at 3, a distinct change after three straight days of pitching brilliance. Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa carried a no-hitter into the seventh Sunday, the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright went 7 2-3 innings before his no-hit bid ended Saturday and St. Louis rookie Shelby Miller retired the final 27 hitters after allowing a leadoff hit on Friday.
Three of the first four batters reached against Hefner including Allen Craig's RBI double just inside the third-base line for the lead and Jon Jay added a bases-loaded sacrifice fly that barely counted when Matt Holliday sprinted home just ahead of third baseman David Wright's tag on Craig, attempting to advance on left fielder Lucas Duda's throw.
Murphy tied it in the second with a two-run double, a liner that right fielder Carlos Beltran appeared to lose running out of the shadows into a patch of sunlight in right. Murphy scored from second on an infield hit after shortstop Daniel Descalso could not handle Wright's slow roller and the ball rolled free.
Notes: LHP John Gast makes his major league debut for the Cardinals in place of injured Jake Westbrook on Tuesday night against Dillon Gee (2-4, 5.55). Gast was 3-1 with a 1.16 ERA at Triple-A Memphis and began the year with 32 consecutive scoreless innings. ... Chris Carpenter, all but ruled out for the season in February due to nerve issues in his shoulder, threw another bullpen session Monday and remained on track in his bid to return as a reliever, but there's no specific timetable. "When he puts his mind to something and his body cooperates, we know what kind of talent he has." ... Descalso got his third start at SS for St. Louis. ... The Mets' John Buck struck out three times for a total of 13 the last six games.
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