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Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Mets 9, Cards 8: Lutz homers in 9th

By Adam Rubin

JUPITER, Fla. -- Zach Lutz produced a tiebreaking solo homer with one out in the top of the ninth to lift the Mets to a 9-8 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium.

Lutz’s homer against Trevor Rosenthal capped a three-homer, 14-hit game for the Mets.

Miguel Socolovich allowed two baserunners to reach in the bottom of the ninth, but survived that jam -- and a replay review of an out call at third base, which the Cards failed to get overturned -- to hold on for the save.

Josh Satin took Adam Wainwright deep in the second inning, while Kirk Nieuwenhuis delivered a three-run homer against left-hander Tim Cooney in the fifth.

In the eighth, Omar Quintanilla delivered a game-tying RBI double and Matt den Dekker drove him in with a single as the Mets took an 8-7 lead. But Gonzalez Germen surrendered a game-tying RBI double to Stephen Piscotty in the bottom half.

Quintanilla’s two-bagger plated Wilmer Flores, who reached base three times and scored twice while starting at shortstop for the first time since 2011, when he played for Class A St. Lucie.

The Mets had trailed 7-6 after Jose Valverde surrendered a two-run double to Daniel Descalso in the fifth.

After Jonathon Niese allowed four runs on six hits and two walks in two innings, Rafael Montero tossed a pair of innings as well, surrendering one run. Of the 14 batters to face Niese, eight reached.

Flores played a full game at shortstop. He could not cleanly handle a routine grounder from Jhonny Peralta in the first inning, helping cost the Mets a chance to turn a double play. Descalso reached on an infield single in the second inning to Flores, after which one scout said about Flores at shortstop: “The game is too fast for him.”

Flores did single, double and walk in four plate appearances.

What’s next: John Lannan, who appears most likely to make the team as a second left-hander in the bullpen, starts Wednesday’s Grapefruit League game against St. Louis at 1:10 p.m. at Tradition Field (SNY). Lannan opposes right-hander Carlos Martinez.