Cardinals right-hander Jake Westbrook carried a shutout into the seventh but was unable to make it out of the frame. New York tallied three runs off Westbrook, who had his scoreless innings streak snapped at 16.
"That's kind of where you want to get to. You want to get [deep in the game] and see how you handle it," Westbrook said. "I felt strong."
Mets left-hander Johan Santana, who didn't factor into the decision, began his outing by walking three of the first four St. Louis batters. In the middle was an RBI single from Matt Holliday, who extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Holliday has reached base in every game he has played this spring. Cardinals second baseman Tyler Greene added to the lead with a sacrifice fly later in the frame.
From there, though, Santana settled in. He retired nine straight during one stretch and went on to finish five innings. That was one inning short of his spring high, which Santana set in his previous start, also against the Cardinals. Three of Santana's five spring outings have come against St. Louis.
With the Mets trailing, 2-0, Daniel Murphy led off the seventh with a single. Ronny Cedeno followed with a walk. Two batters later, Justin Turner doubled home New York's first run. That ended the day for Westbrook, who threw 83 pitches, 57 for strikes. He allowed only two hits prior to the seventh.
Reliever Marc Rzepczynski followed Westbrook and allowed both inherited runners to score. Vinny Rottino drove home one with a single. The go-ahead run scored on a wild pitch. Kyle McClellan then allowed a two-run single to Ruben Tejada.
Mets third baseman David Wright went 1-for-2 with a single in his Grapefruit League debut. He played four innings before being replaced by infielder Cedeno. Wright, who had been sidelined with a strained left abdominal muscle, is expected to accrue enough at-bats during the final 10 days of Grapefruit League play to be ready for the start of the season.
Up next for the Cardinals: The Cardinals' only off-day of the spring falls on Tuesday, though the complex won't be completely devoid of activity. Jaime Garcia is slated to start a Triple-A game at 9 a.m. CT, since that would be his normal day to pitch. The Cardinals will then resume Grapefruit League play with a 12:05 p.m. CT home game against the Tigers on Wednesday. Adam Wainwright will make his final Grapefruit League start in that game and will opposed Detroit's Drew Smyly.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less