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Shaun Marcum finally throws good game, but mistakes cost Mets

Mets' John Buck is hit by a pitch

Mets' John Buck is hit by a pitch during the fourth inning. (May 15, 2013) Credit: AP

ST. LOUIS -- Shaun Marcum delivered his best pitching performance of the season, Rick Ankiel hit his first homer with his new team, and the Mets knocked out Cardinals rookie Shelby Miller by the sixth inning.

But for all the good they managed Wednesday night, it wasn't enough to negate the numerous mistakes that ultimately cost the Mets in a 4-2 loss to the Cardinals.

"The game is very cruel sometimes, and right now we're kind of experiencing the cruelness of it," David Wright said.

The go-ahead run scored -- appropriately enough -- on a wild pitch by Scott Rice in the seventh inning. It was the costliest miscue in the Mets' sixth consecutive loss, dropping them to a season-worst nine games under .500. But it wasn't the only one.

Slow-footed John Buck killed two rallies with a pair of baserunning gaffes, getting doubled off second base in the second before he was caught stealing in the fourth. The typically surehanded Wright opened the door to a two-run inning when the ball popped out of his glove as he attempted to apply a tag.

The Mets tied it at 2 in the seventh when Ankiel hit his first homer as a Met -- a two-run shot off Seth Maness. But in the bottom half of the inning, Rice bounced a pitch past Buck, allowing Daniel Descalso to score the go-ahead run.

The Cardinals added an insurance run in the eighth thanks to Daniel Murphy's errant throw to first."There's no magic formula," manager Terry Collins said. "We've got to execute better."

Mets send lefty Jonathon Niese to the mound today against Adam WainwThe sloppiness ruined a solid effort by Marcum, who showed improved command and sharper offspeed pitches while allowing just three runs (two earned) in 62/3 innings.

The right in hopes of avoiding a sweep in this four-game set against the Cardinals.

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