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Gyorko homers, Cards top Mets in 1st game of doubleheader

By BEN WALKERJuly 26, 2016
Teammates greet St. Louis Cardinals Jedd Gyorko, center, after he hit a third-inning, two-run, home run during the first game of a baseball doubleheader against the New York Mets, Tuesday, July 26, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Teammates greet St. Louis Cardinals Jedd Gyorko, center, after he hit a third-inning, two-run, home run during the first game of a baseball doubleheader against the New York Mets, Tuesday, July 26, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK (AP) — Jedd Gyorko homered again, hitting a two-run drive off Noah Syndergaard that sent the St. Louis Cardinals over the New York Mets 3-2 Tuesday in the first game of a doubleheader.

Gyorko connected for the sixth time in eight games, giving him 13 this season. The Cardinals lead the NL in home runs with 137, matching last year’s total.

The Mets played at home for the first time since the All-Star break and lost in a matchup of NL wild-card contenders. Citi Field was nearly empty at the start, a day after a rainout forced the twinbill.

Carlos Martinez (10-6) gave up a two-run homer to Rene Rivera and left after the fifth inning with a 3-2 lead. Three relievers finished, with Seung Hwan Oh getting his fifth save in six chances.

Curtis Granderson led off the Mets ninth with a single, but was thrown out trying to tag up on Yoenis Cespedes’ drive that Tommy Pham caught in deep center field.

Syndergaard (9-5) has won only one of his last five starts. The All-Star had a tough sequence in the second — he got hit in the lower right leg by Pham’s one-hop single to load the bases, then made a wild, off-balance throw home on Martinez’s comebacker to let a run score.

The Mets lost despite throwing out three runners on the bases and manager Terry Collins winning a pair of replay challenges. New York has alternated wins and losses for the last 11 games.

Gyorko was hitless in his previous 10 at-bats when he connected in the third. St. Louis has homered in 16 straight games, its best streak since a team-record 19-game string in 2006.

The Cardinals opened a 10-game trip that also takes them to Miami and Cincinnati. They arrived at their New York hotel around 8:30 a.m. Monday after plane trouble, and the rainout gave them some much-needed rest.

26TH MAN

The Cardinals will recall RHP Sam Tuivailala as the 26th player for the second game. He’s made three relief appearances for St. Louis this year. The Mets are bringing up 27-year-old lefty Josh Smoker — he’s made 43 relief appearance for Triple-A Las Vegas, and has never been in the majors.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: RHP Jaime Garcia (7-6, 3.98) pitches Game 2. He is 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA in five career starts against the Mets. That’s his lowest ERA vs. any opponent.

Mets: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-5, 3.48) faces the Cardinals in the second game. He went 0-2 with a 15.58 ERA against them last year.

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