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03/15/10 4:05 PM ET

Cards unable to hold off Mets' charge

Lopez, Ludwick lead Redbirds' offense in spring defeat

Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Monday, March 15

Cardinals at the plate: Ryan Ludwick had a double and a single and drove in two runs. Felipe Lopez was the only other Cardinals player with two hits, a double and a single.

Mets at the plate: Angel Pagan hit a 3-1 pitch for a wind-aided, two-run walk-off homer with one out in the ninth. It was his first home run this spring. Fernando Martinez drove in one run with a double and one with a sacrifice fly, and Jeff Francoeur and Ruben Tejada drove in runs with a single and an infield single, respectively. Jason Bay went 2-for-3 with a double. He scored two runs.

Cardinals the mound: Brad Penny pitched 3 2/3 innings in his third exhibition game start, allowing six hits and three runs. A hot line drive by Bay struck Penny in his pitching elbow in the first inning. Oneli Perez replaced him in the fourth, and completed the fifth. Fernando Salas allowed a run in the seventh.

Mets on the mound: Francisco Rodriguez made his first appearance of the spring, throwing seven pitches and retiring the side in order. The two candidates for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, Fernando Nieve and Jon Niese, pitched three innings each. Nieve allowed five hits and two runs, and Niese allowed four hits and three runs (two earned).

Grapefruit League records: Cardinals, 6-5; Mets, 7-7.

Worth Noting: Ruben Tejada, who started at shortstop for the Mets, drove in one run with an infield single, went 1-for-4 and committed an error.

Up next: The Cardinals play the Nationals in Jupiter, Fla., on Tuesday afternoon at 12:05 p.m. CT, with Kyle Lohse pitching opposite John Lannan. The Mets are off. They are back in action against the Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. ET, live on MLB.TV. Mike Pelfrey is to start for the Mets, John Lackey for the Red Sox.

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.