FINAL SCORE: Mets 4, Cardinals 0

WP: R.A. Dickey (7-4)

LP: Blake Hawksworth (4-7)

S: Francisco Rodriguez (22)

Top 9th: Close, but no cigar. Manuel received boos from the crowd when he pulled Dickey after the knuckle-baller gave up a single and a walk, with one out in the ninth. Though it was not a save situation, K-Rod came in to clean up the mess and salvage an excellent start. Pujols flied out to center and Holliday was left staring at an inside fastball to strike out and end the game.

SCORE: Mets 4, Cardinals 0

Bottom 8th: Mike MacDougal relieved Reyes. MacDougal plunked Hessman and walked Thole to begin the inning. Francoeur popped up to first and MacDouga walked Cora again to load the bases. With the Mets up four and his pitcher cruising, Jerry Manuel was in no rush to pinch-hit for Dickey. He wants Dickey to finish what he started today. Dickey made a feeble bunt attempt before chopping one to the pitcher, who threw home for the force out, but the throw was soft and there was no play at first, leaving the bases loaded with two outs. Reyes left the ducks on the pond and grounded out to first. ...Dickey heads out to the mound for his first chance at a shutout this season, and his first since 2003.

SCORE: Mets 4, Cardinals 0

Top 8th: The skies opened up this inning, but Dickey continued to shine. Although Dickey surrendered his third hit of the game, a single to left by Shumaker, he got fly outs from Ludwick and Molina and pinch-hitter Randy Winn grounded to second.

SCORE: Mets 4, Cardinals 0

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Bottom 7th: Dennys Reyes relieved Hawksworth. Jose Reyes flied out to right, Pagan grounded out to second, Beltran reached on an error by the shortstop and Davis yanked a grounder to second to end the inning.

SCORE: Mets 4, Cardinals 0

Top 7th: Dickey is making a case for his best start of the year. He's given up just two hits today and has taken care of business with ease on 83 pitches thrown. His handling of Pujols has been most impressive. Dickey has not thrown more than five pitches in an at-bat by Pujols and got the reigning NL MVP to ground to third for the second time today. For those wondering when the shoe will drop, it does not look like it will be anytime soon.

SCORE: Mets 4, Cardinals 0

Bottom 7th: Francoeur's woes continued. He struck out looking to begin the inning. Cora lined out to left and Dickey grounded to first. 

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SCORE: Mets 4, Cardinals 0

Top 6th: Dickey dazzled the Cardnials again 1-2-3. Two grounders and a line out to end the inning. Dickey is cruising, having thrown 66 pitches through six.

SCORE: Mets 4, Cardinals 0

Bottom 5th: The Mets scored one on three hits, highlighted by Beltran's third RBI in as many games. Pagan his a one-out triple and Beltran drove him home on a single to left. Davis flied out and Hessman walked to put runners on first and second with two outs. Thole singled to center and Beltran tested the arm of the rookie Jay in center. Beltran extended his hand on the slide home, but Molina ripped the perfect throw from Jay across his body and tagged Beltran's hand for the final out of the inning. 

SCORE: Mets 4, Cardinals 0 

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Top 5th: Dickey continues to work quickly, with a dash of help from the defense. A leadoff single by Ludwick was erased by a 3-6-3 double play off a Schumaker grounder. Molina grounded to third to end the inning.

SCORE: Mets 3, Cardinals 0 

Bottom 4th: The bottom of the Mets order rolled over 1-2-3. Francoeur is on a 4-for-29 (.138) skid. Batting eighth has not helped him.

SCORE: Mets 3, Cardinals 0 

Top 4th: Dickey is dealing. He held the Cardinals hitless for the second consecutive inning, getting Jay and Pujols to ground out and Holliday to fly out to deep center.

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SCORE: Mets 3, Cardinals 0 

Bottom 3rd: Signal the Apple! Davis went deep to dead center on a three-run bomb, his 15th of the season to put the Mets up 3-0. Reyes doubled down the rightfield line and Pagan beat out an infield single to start the inning. Beltran battled, but flied out to shallow center. Davis then homered to center on a first-pitch changeup. Hessman flied out to center and Thole flied out to right to end the inning.

SCORE: Mets 3, Cardinals 0 

Top 3rd: After Hawksworth grounded to short for the first out, Green walked. The Mets turned a slick 3-6-2 double play. Reyes came to a set inside the second base bag and, after catching the throw from Davis, simply lifted his right foot to avoid contact from the sliding runner, and slung a dart to Dickey at first.

SCORE: Mets 0, Cardinals 0 

Bottom 2nd: The Mets had Hessman and Thole on second and first with no outs, but no one could drive them home. Francoeur lined to right, Cora lined to center and Dickey grounded to the pitcher. 

Fast fact: Cora is on a 3-for-31 skid.

SCORE: Mets 0, Cardinals 0 

Top 2nd: Dickey sends them down 1-2-3, with two in the air and one on the ground. The knuckle is dancing.

SCORE: Mets 0, Cardinals 0 

Bottom 1st: Much like yesterday's Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia, today's starter, Hawksworth, is not overpowering, but crafty and has excellent control. He struck out Reyes on a high changeup, walked Pagan, induced a fly out to center from Wright and ended the inning by getting Davis to ground out weakly to first. Again, nothing flashy, nothing special from Hawksworth. He gets through innings like a whisper, not a band.

SCORE: Mets 0, Cardinals 0 

Top 1st: Dickey's knuckleball is nasty today. He struck out Lopez to start the inning on a nosediving knuckle. After letting up a double to Jay, he struck out Pujols on a high knuckler and then got Holliday to ground out to short to end the inning. After a long game last night and a noon start today, Cardinals hitters might have an especially tough time waking up and hitting the knuckleball. 

SCORE: Mets 0, Cardinals 0

Leading off: Jason Bay is being evaluated for another 24 hours to see if symptoms of his concussion persist...Wright and Castillo have the day off after yesterday's 13-inning game...Beltran told Manuel he does not want to rest but wants to "push it."

Mets lineup:

  1. Jose Reyes ss (.281, 7, 37)
  2. Angel Pagan lf (.305, 9, 46)
  3. Carlos Beltran cf (.227, 1, 3)
  4. Ike Davis 1b (.252, 14, 49)
  5. Mike Hessman 3b (.167, 0, 2)
  6. Josh Thole c (.351, 1, 6)
  7. Jeff Francoeur rf (.244, 9, 45)
  8. Alex Cora 2b (.211, 0, 20)
  9. R.A. Dickey p (.238, 0, 2)

Pitching: R.A. Dickey (6-4, 2.55)

Cardinals lineup:

  1. Felipe Lopez 3b (.272, 6, 28)
  2. Jon Jay cf (.385, 3, 12)
  3. Albert Pujols 1b (.298, 23, 71)
  4. Matt Holliday lf (.305, 19, 60)
  5. Ryan Ludwick rf (.278, 11, 43)
  6. Skip Schumaker 2b (.261, 3, 24)
  7. Yadier Molina c (.236, 4, 38)
  8. Blake Hawksworth p (.000, 0, 0)
  9. Tyler Greene ss (.269, 2, 8)

Pitching: Blake Hawksworth (4-6, 5.23)