Looper strong, but Cards fall to Mets

Looper strong, but Cards fall to Mets

at Jupiter, Fla.
Friday, March 2

Mets at the plate: David Newhan was the star of the day, with an RBI triple that started New York's comeback from a 5-1 deficit, and a two-run single to tie the game in the ninth. Carlos Gomez's sac fly delivered the winning run. Ruben Gotay added a pair of base hits and scored a run.

Cardinals at the plate: Albert Pujols got his first hit and first RBIs of the season with a two-run single in a four-run St. Louis fourth. Yadier Molina doubled, singled and scored, and Aaron Miles had a single, a sacrifice fly and a run scored.

Mets on the mound: After the Cards put up five early runs, the Mets bullpen locked down over the final five frames. Willie Collazo, Adam Bostick, Joe Smith, Scott Schoeneweis and Lino Urdaneta pitched one shutout inning each. Schoeneweis picked up the win. Urdaneta got the save, striking out the game's last two batters.

Cardinals on the mound: Braden Looper gave up some fairly well-hit balls but acquitted himself well for the most part in his starting debut. Looper allowed a run on two hits, striking out one and walking one. Ricardo Rincon and Kelvin Jimenez each pitched a perfect inning, while Josh Kinney was touched for three runs and the loss.

Grapefruit League records: Mets 2-1; Cardinals 1-2.

Up next: The Mets return home to Port St. Lucie to face the Dodgers on Saturday, with Mike Pelfrey facing off against Brad Penny. Kip Wells makes his first start in a Cardinals uniform when St. Louis face off with Anibal Sanchez and the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium on Saturday.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.