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Westbrook, Taveras impress in loss to Mets

Westbrook, Taveras impress in loss to Mets

JUPITER, Fla. -- Mets outfielder Andrew Brown delivered a seventh-inning, go-ahead RBI single in his first at-bat Monday that lifted the Mets to a 3-2 win against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

With the game tied at two apiece, top Mets prospect Travis d'Arnaud led off the seventh with a double off Cardinals lefty Marc Rzepczynski. Brown followed with a single to drive in his fourth run of the spring. Rzepczynski was making just his second appearance since March 7, after a left eye injury he suffered during a golf outing cost him time.

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Starter Jake Westbrook became the second Cardinals pitcher to finish six innings in a Grapefruit League start and did so needing only 76 pitches, including 50 strikes. The Mets pushed two runs across against him in the fourth with a pair of two-out hits -- a d'Arnaud single and a Lucas Duda home run.

Westbrook faced the minimum in his other five innings of work, striking out four and not walking a batter for the third time in four starts.

"That's probably the best I've done [this spring]," Westbrook said. "Just about all of my pitches were working. I had a really good sinker today and got a lot of ground balls. That's what I'm looking for. It's been a while since I've gotten them. The first three outings, I've been a little erratic in that sense. But today was a lot better."

Mets starter Matt Harvey pitched a spring-long 5 1/3 innings and also allowed two runs. Both came in the fourth, which featured back-to-back doubles by Matt Holliday and Matt Adams that snapped a scoreless-innings streak of 25 1/3 innings for St. Louis. Cardinals top prospect Oscar Taveras drove home the second run with a single up the middle. The 20-year-old right fielder later showed off his arm, throwing out Brown at third base as he attempted to advance on a single.

Harvey allowed six hits, walked one and struck out six in his fifth start of the spring. The right-hander's spring strikeout total now sits at 24 in 18 1/3 innings and he threw 54 of his 80 pitches for strikes.

Josh Edgin relieved Harvey with one on in the sixth and closed the inning by getting Adams to line into a double play. LaTroy Hawkins followed with his fourth consecutive scoreless relief appearance.

Up next for the Cardinals: The Cardinals should be closer to committing to a fifth starter after Tuesday's game, which is scheduled to feature both pitchers competing for that spot. Shelby Miller will start the 12:05 p.m. CT game against the Marlins, and he'll be followed by Joe Kelly. Because both are being stretched out as starters, the two could conceivably cover all nine innings of the game, which will be broadcast live on MLB.TV.

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.

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