St. Louis 4, NY Mets 1
When: 4:10 PM ET, Saturday, July 8, 2017
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
Lazaro Diaz, 1B -
Jeff Nelson, 2B -
Doug Eddings, 3B -
ST. LOUIS -- Just over a month into his big league career, Paul DeJong did something no other St. Louis Cardinals shortstop has ever done.
DeJong collected four extra-base hits on Saturday, following up his leadoff homer in the bottom of the third inning with three straight doubles to lead St. Louis past the New York Mets 4-1 at Busch Stadium.
No eighth-place hitter in the lineup in club history has ever whacked four extra-base hits in the same game. No Cardinal rookie in 82 years has banged out four extra-base hits in one day of baseball. The last St. Louis player with four extra-base hits in the same game was Carlos Beltran five years ago.
DeJong made all those stats relevant with a display that used most of the field. He deposited a Zack Wheeler offering into the left-center field seats in the third for his eighth homer of the year, then laced a double off the right-field wall and two more down the left-field line.
"Hitting a homer in your first at-bat gives you a nice little boost of confidence to start the day," DeJong said. "It was just one of those days where you're in the zone and seeing it well and not thinking too much."
DeJong's last nine at-bats have produced eight hits, seven for extra bases. Saturday's hitting display upped his average from .283 to .306, and could lead to a promotion of sorts for him in the constantly changing lineup of manager Mike Matheny.
Not that Matheny was going to tip his hand.
"Seems to work for him hitting eighth," Matheny said of DeJong. "I like the whole package with what he's doing defensively. You get an opportunity, make the most of it and trust yourself."
Adam Wainwright (10-5) appeared to take that advice to heart on the mound. After giving up six runs in the fifth inning of a 14-6 win Monday night over Miami, Wainwright bounced back with a much more consistent performance.
Mixing speeds from 63 to 94, Wainwright gave up only five hits and a run over 6 2/3 innings, walking none and whiffing seven.
"Last game was a good lesson for me," he said. "I didn't need to do anything but what I was doing. I've proven when I'm out there and making pitches, and executing, things work out like they're supposed to."
Wainwright retired 14 of the first 15 men he faced and sailed into the seventh inning with a two-hitter. After flipping a 63 mph curve to induce a harmless fly ball from Yoenis Cespedes, Wainwright ran into his only turbulence when Jay Bruce cracked his 23rd homer to right-center field.
Two singles later in the inning knocked Wainwright out in favor of Matt Bowman. The reliever induced an inning-ending popup from Travis d'Arnaud to end the threat.
DeJong took care of the rest. His leadoff double sparked a seventh inning rally that Stephen Piscotty punctuated with an RBI single to right for a 3-1 lead.
One inning later, DeJong worked an eight-pitch at-bat against Rafael Montero. The eighth pitch wound up in the left field corner, scoring pinch-runner Alex Mejia from first to cap the scoring.
Seung Hwan Oh worked around two one-out singles in the ninth for his 18th save in 21 chances as the Cardinals (42-45) improved to 5-4 on a 10-game homestand. Lucas Duda and Jose Reyes each represented the potential tying run, but flew out to seal the outcome.
Wheeler (3-6) pitched six innings, giving up eight hits and two runs. He walked one and fanned five.
"I think the fastball command was there, better than it has been so I'm happy with that," Wheeler said.
NOTES: New York activated OF Michael Conforto (bruised left hand) from the 10-day disabled list and placed OF Brandon Nimmo on the DL. Nimmo was hospitalized Friday night with a partially collapsed lung and released Saturday morning. ... The Mets signed their first-round draft pick, LHP David Peterson, and assigned him to Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League. They signed 32 of their 40 picks, including their first 13. ... St. Louis LHP Zach Duke (left elbow) pitched a scoreless inning in the fourth game of his rehab assignment Friday night for Triple-A Memphis at Nashville. Duke has yet to be scored upon in four minor league innings.
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