Second baseman homers in second straight game to back starter's gem
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Kolten Wong continued his Spring Training assault on the Mets, homering for the second time in two days Wednesday in a 6-4 Cardinals victory at Tradition Field.
Wong tagged Mets reliever Kyle Farnsworth for a two-run homer in the seventh inning, highlighting his second consecutive multi-hit game. Wednesday's performance came one day after Wong homered and doubled in a loss to the Mets, and a week after he rapped out three hits in a tie at Tradition Field. Competing for the Cardinals' second-base job, Wong is 7-for-15 with six RBIs against the Mets this spring. He has gone 0-for-9 with zero RBIs against everyone else.
Outfielder Stephen Piscotty also continued his hot hitting, collecting a double, a triple and a bases-loaded walk to give himself four extra-base hits and five RBIs in three days.
The Cardinals plated two unearned runs on Shane Robinson's groundout in the first inning and Tony Cruz's double-play grounder in the second, both against Mets starter John Lannan. Lannan ended the damage there, using the double-play ball to spark a run of nine consecutive outs. He struck out four of the final five batters he faced.
"The first inning didn't go as I planned, but sometimes that happens," Lannan said. "After that double play, I settled down and started making some good pitches."
The problem was that Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez was even sharper, striking out three Mets batters over four scoreless innings to lower his spring ERA to 1.80.
"His sinker is really good," Cruz said. "He was effective with all his pitches. When he's on like that, he's tough to hit."
The Mets broke through for three runs in the seventh on Juan Lagares' two-run single and Brandon Allen's RBI knock off Keith Butler. But Ruben Tejada's struggles continued when he bunted into a fielder's choice with no outs and two men on base, precipitating the rally's premature end. An inning later, the Cardinals scored two more runs to put the game out of reach.
Up next: The Cardinals will face the visiting Braves on Thursday at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter. Lance Lynn is scheduled to start for the Cardinals, while Freddy Garcia will be on the mound for Atlanta. Game time is 1:05 p.m. ET.