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Monday, June 4, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 5, Mets 4

By Adam Rubin

WHAT IT MEANS: No-hitter to their credit? Yes. But the Mets ain’t perfect.

A half-inning after Scott Hairston’s pinch-hitting dramatics, Jon Rauch served up a tiebreaking two-run homer to Allen Craig in the eighth.

The Mets rallied back within a run on Andres Torres’ sacrifice fly a half-inning later. But David Wright then lined out to right field against Jason Motte to leave the tying run at third base and the Mets ultimately fell shy of a four-game sweep of St. Louis with a 5-4 loss in Monday’s matinee finale at Citi Field.

With Washington and Miami idle, the Mets missed a chance to take a half-game lead in the National League East. Instead, the Mets (31-24) head to D.C. for a midweek series trailing the Nats (30-22) and Marlins (31-23) by a half-game.

It nonetheless was a solid weekend for the Mets, who took three of four from St. Louis while enjoying Johan Santana’s historic no-hitter, R.A. Dickey’s follow-up shutout and John Franco’s induction into the team's Hall of Fame.

JOSE WHO? Wright has matched Jose Reyes for the franchise record for runs scored. The moment belonged to Hairston, though.

Pinch-hitting for Ike Davis against left-hander Marc Rzepczynski, Hairston delivered a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh that evened the score at 3. The shot plated Wright.

Wright now has 735 runs scored as a Met, matching Reyes for most in a career with the team. Darryl Strawberry (662), Howard Johnson (627) and Edgardo Alfonzo (614) round out the top five.

OH, GEE: Dillon Gee limited the Cardinals to one run entering the seventh inning, when his arm let him down.

With the score tied at 1, Gee walked Craig and surrendered a single to David Freese to place runners on corners to open the inning. Daniel Descalso then hit a soft comebacker to Gee, and Craig held at third base while Gee began to initiate a double play.

However, Gee skipped the throw and sent it into center field, allowing Craig to score.

After shortstop Omar Quintanilla could not handle a grounder that was ruled an infield hit, Freese later scored on Rafael Furcal’s fielder’s choice grounder as the Cards took a 3-1 lead.

DUDE ABIDES: Lucas Duda got the Mets on the scoreboard in the fourth with his team-leading ninth homer, a solo shot off Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse.

BEL-BOTTOM: Carlos Beltran had a quiet but eventful return to Citi Field. He left two in scoring position with seventh-inning strikeout and went 2-for-18 during the four-game series. It marked his first time opposing the Mets since last July’s trade to San Francisco that netted Zack Wheeler. Beltran's grounder Friday down the third-base line, actually fair, was ruled foul by ump Adrian Johnson and preserved Santana's no-hit bid.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets have a showdown with the Nats in D.C. Chris Young will make his first major league start since May 1, 2011 in Tuesday's series opener, opposite Jordan Zimmermann (3-5, 2.80 ERA). The reconfigured rotation now has Jeremy Hefner opposing Edwin Jackson on Wednesday and Dickey opposing Chien-Ming Wang on Thursday.