Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 8/10)

Game 1: Friday, August 9
New York 2Final
St. Louis 1
Game 2: Saturday, August 10
New York 4Final
St. Louis 5
Game 3: Sunday, August 11
New York 0Final
St. Louis 9

Mets 4

(58-58, 28-30 away)

Cardinals 5

(61-52, 35-22 home)

    1:15 PM ET, August 10, 2002

    Busch Stadium I, St. Louis, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    NYM 000040000 4 - -
    STL 40000100 - 5 - -

    W: D. Veres (5-7)

    L: S. Reed (2-5)

    S: J. Isringhausen (26)

    Estes lasts just three innings in Mets' loss

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Albert Pujols had a clear idea what he wanted to do when he stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded in the first inning Saturday.

    Albert Pujols
    Left Field
    St. Louis Cardinals
    110 25 84 82 2 .289

    "I just wanted to see the ball and hit it to the opposite field,'' Pujols said after the St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Mets 5-4.

    Pujols did not hit the ball to the opposite way. Instead, he hit a grand slam over the center-field fence.

    "If I try to hit a home run, I would probably hit it to the third baseman for a double play,'' Pujols said.

    The NL Central leaders won for just the second time in 10 games.

    Mets starter Shawn Estes said Pujols hit a tough curveball.

    "He hit my best pitch out of the park,'' Estes said. "He beat me on it.''

    Estes walked the bases loaded with nobody out to set up Pujols' second slam of the season and third of his career.

    "I didn't get in a good rhythm in the first inning and that was the ballgame,'' Estes said.

    The Mets came back to tie the score, which was no surprise to Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.

    "I knew the game wasn't over when we got four runs that early,'' La Russa said.

    After the Mets came back to tie it, the Cardinals scored the go-ahead run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Jim Edmonds.

    Eli Marrero led off with a double against Steve Reed (2-5), moved to third on Edgar Renteria's sacrifice bunt and scored on Edmonds' fly.

    Marrero's ball to left sailed over the head of rookie outfielder Marco Scutaro, who was charging in on the play. Scutaro, normally an infielder, had played outfield five times in Triple-A Norfolk before being called up Saturday.

    "I just heard he could play out there, he said it would be no problem,'' Mets manager Bobby Valentine said.

    Dave Veres (5-7) pitched two scoreless innings for the win. Jason Isringhausen worked the ninth for his 26th save in 30 chances.

    Estes, who has lost seven of his last eight starts, was pulled after three innings.

    Luther Hackman, making his second start of the year and fifth of his career, allowed three runs on nine hits in 4 1-3 innings for the Cardinals.

    Hackman was pressed into service when Garrett Stephenson reported stiffness in his shoulder after a rehabilitation start earlier in the week.

    La Russa said after the game that Hackman would stay in the starting rotation for now.

    "He's in there until we get some of our other pitchers back, we'll just see how he does.''

    The Mets scored four runs in the fifth off Hackman and reliever Mike Matthews.

    Timo Perez led off with an infield single and Mo Vaughn and John Valentin doubled to make it 4-2. Tony Tarasco and Rey Ordonez added RBI singles to tie it.

    Plate umpire Larry Vanover threatened to eject both managers in the sixth after Fernando Vina was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game. Three Cardinals and one Met were hit by pitches before the warning.

    Game notes

    The Cardinals are 8-15 against the NL East this year. ... Renteria is hitting .356 since the All-Star break. ... Cardinals 3B Scott Rolen was hitless in three at-bats, leaving him in a 2-for-32 slump. ... New York pitchers had allowed just one run in the previous two games. ... Mets star Mike Piazza was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and two foulouts. ... Isringhausen is 7-for-7 in save chances since the All-Star break.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press