Beset by early wildness, Johan settles in win
Lefty fans five in five innings; Wright singles in spring debut
JUPITER, Fla. -- Held scoreless for the first six innings of Monday's game against the Cardinals, the Mets sent 10 batters to the plate in a five-run seventh that they then rode to a 6-3 road win. The loss was St. Louis' first since March 17.
Mets third baseman David Wright went 1-for-2 with a single in his Grapefruit League debut. He played four innings before being replaced by infielder Ronny Cedeno. Wright, who had been sidelined with a strained left abdominal muscle, is expected to accrue enough at-bats during the final 10 days of Grapefruit League play to be ready for the start of the season.
Mets left-hander Johan Santana, who didn't factor into the decision, began his outing by walking three of the first four St. Louis batters. In the middle was an RBI single from Matt Holliday, who extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Holliday has reached base in every game he has played this spring. Cardinals second baseman Tyler Greene added to the lead with a sacrifice fly later in the frame.
From there, though, Santana settled in. He retired nine straight during one stretch and went on to finish five innings. That was one inning short of his spring high, which Santana set in his previous start, also against the Cardinals. Three of Santana's five spring outings have come against St. Louis.
Cardinals right-hander Jake Westbrook carried a shutout into the seventh but was unable to make it out of the frame. New York tallied three runs off Westbrook, who had his scoreless innings streak snapped at 16.
With the Mets trailing, 2-0, Daniel Murphy led off the seventh with a single. Cedeno followed with a walk. Two batters later, Justin Turner doubled home New York's first run. That ended the day for Westbrook, who threw 83 pitches, 57 for strikes. He allowed only two hits prior to the seventh.
Reliever Marc Rzepczynski followed Westbrook and allowed both inherited runners to score. Vinny Rottino drove home one with a single. The go-ahead run scored on a wild pitch. Kyle McClellan then allowed a two-run single to Ruben Tejada.
Up next for the Mets: With so many Mets battling injuries this spring, first baseman Ike Davis' health has been a blessing. Davis, who hit his first Grapefruit League home run on Saturday, will go for another in a 1:10 p.m. ET game Tuesday against the Braves at Digital Domain Park. Right-hander Chris Schwinden will start for the Mets in place of R.A. Dickey, who will pitch in a Minor League game. The Mets do not want to overexpose Dickey to the Braves, who are slated to oppose him in the second game of the regular season.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.