ST. LOUIS (AP) – Lance Lynn said he felt terrible before his start on Sunday.
He made the New York Mets feel even worse.
Lynn pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, and Tommy Pham, Paul DeJong and Luke Voit homered as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Mets 6-0.
“The sinker was good, mixed the ball in and out,” Lynn said. “I was able to keep them off-balance with the fastball and change speeds with it so it worked out well.”
It was Lynn’s longest outing since May 23, when he threw 123 pitches in eight scoreless innings in a 2-1 loss to Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.
Lynn (7-6) had a season-low two strikeouts, but he needed just 93 pitches while facing two batters over the minimum. He did not allow a runner past first and lowered his ERA to 3.61.
“He just came after hitters,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “There wasn’t a whole lot of guessing about what he was going to do today. You could tell from the pop-ups he was using the top of the zone well, but when he needed to make a pitch on the inside corner, he had it.”
Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the eighth and John Brebbia pitched a scoreless ninth as the Cardinals finished a 6-4 homestand and moved into a tie with the Chicago Cubs for second place in the National League Central.
Steven Matz (2-2) gave up five runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings, his shortest outing since June 3. He struck out a season-low one.
“We’re not hitting, we’re not pitching,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “When you don’t pitch the game looks rugged. When you don’t hit, they look even worse.”
DeJong finished 2 for 4 and is 10 for his last 13 and is the first rookie and first Cardinals player in the modern era to have seven extra base hits in a three-game series.
“It was one of those days where I was seeing the ball well again,” DeJong said. “I wasn’t doing too much thinking. Overall, it’s a pretty good series.”
Matt Carpenter reached and scored twice. Yadier Molina had his second RBI in two games.
Pham drove a 3-1 pitch from Matz the other way over the right-field wall to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead in the third. It was Pham’s 11th homer of the season and first in six games.
DeJong’s homer, his third in three games, made it 4-0 in the fourth. Voit greeted Seth Lugo with an opposite field homer, his third in his last seven games, to right to make it 5-0.
Carpenter led off the first with a double and scored to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. It was the first time in six games that the Cardinals scored in the opening inning and it broke Matz’s 17-inning scoreless streak, the second-longest of his career.
The Cardinals ran themselves out of scoring chances in the third and fourth innings. In the third, Tommy Pham was caught stealing for the third out with a runner on third and clean-up hitter Jedd Gyorko batting. In the fourth, Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud ended the inning with a strikeout out-throw out double play, catching Molina trying to steal third.
Aside from throwing out the two would-be base stealers, d’Arnaud thwarted another potential Cardinals rally by pouncing on a bunt by Wainwright and throwing DeJong out at third for the first out of the fifth inning.
Mets: OF Michael Conforto (bruised left hand) was activated and was replaced on the 10-day DL by Brandon Nimmo (partially collapsed lung).
Cardinals: LHP Kevin Siegrist (cervical spine sprain) and LHP Zach Duke (left elbow surgery) each pitched a scoreless inning Friday in their rehab assignments at Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis, respectively.
Mets: LHP Steven Matz (2-1, 2.12 ERA) will make his first career start against St. Louis. He has pitched 17 scoreless innings and is just two innings from his career-best 19 scoreless innings in 2016.
Cardinals: RHP Lance Lynn (6-6, 3.87 ERA) needs one strikeout for 858 to pass Harry Brecheen for 11th place on the team’s all-time list. He is 2-3 with a 2.97 ERA in seven career appearances against New York.
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