ST. LOUIS (AP) -
might be getting the hang of the closer role.
Franklin, who had eight blown saves in 25 attempts last season, is perfect in three tries after pitching a scoreless ninth
inning Tuesday night in the St. Louis Cardinals' 6-4 win over the
New York Mets
''If you go out there and go one, two three it's pretty easy,'' Franklin said. ''It's when you start walking guys give up
a couple of hits, it can snowball in a hurry.''
broke out of a 1-for-20 slide with three hits, including a go-ahead RBI double after
misplayed a flyball into a triple.
had a two-run double, and
also drove in runs for St. Louis.
(1-1) got the last two outs in the eighth to earn his first major league win and then Franklin closed the door.
''I feel the same,'' Franklin said. ''I'm just trying to focus and do what I got to do to get ahead of guys. If I can get
ahead of them, I feel like I got a chance.''
Ankiel, who went 1-for-18 on the Cardinals' recent six-game road trip, had three straight hits after being retired in his
first two at-bats to lift his average to .227.
''He's got a lot of talent,'' St. Louis Manager
Tony La Russa
said. ''He's pitched tough because he's dangerous. The better the strike zone, the better he has to contact it.''
The Mets, who blew an early 4-0 lead, had a chance to break the tie in the top of the eighth but
was tagged out at home when he tried to score on an errant throw to third. Beltran tagged up on
's fly to right off Motte and raced home when the ball rolled toward the unattended pitcher's mound. Instead of sliding, Beltran
went in standing up and was tagged on the back by
to end the inning.
led off the bottom half with a liner off J.J. Putz (1-1) to left that Murphy charged in for, but Murphy misjudged the ball
and fell trying to correct himself. The ball rolled to the wall and Ryan had a triple. Ankiel followed with his double to
''It was crushed,'' Putz said. ''Those balls, line drives right at the outfielders, are probably the hardest ones to get a
read on. It was unfortunate that he just lost his footing and the ball got behind him.''
Ludwick gave the Cardinals a 6-4 lead run when hit a sacrifice fly.
On April 12, Murphy dropped a fly ball that led to two runs for Florida in a 2-1 win and cost
''I guess I'm a little concerned,'' Mets manager
said. ''I have to be honest with you. He's a hard worker. He's done everything we've asked him to do. I think for the most
part, I'd just like to see him relax.''
New York seemed headed for an easy night, scoring four times in the first four innings against Cardinals starter
. Wellemeyer who gave up a career high 12 hits in his lone start against the Mets last season, gave up 10 hits this time in
''We had a four-run lead and we didn't hold on to it,'' Manuel said. ''We have enough offense. We should add a run here or
there and we didn't do that.''
Beltran had an RBI double, and
and Murphy had RBI singles.
But the Cardinals chased Mets starter
and tied the game by scoring four times in the fifth inning
Pujols hit his two-run double after Wellemeyer singled and Ankiel each singled to center.
Perez, who allowed four runs on six hits and five walks, got Ludwick to pop out to first, but walked Molina and gave up an
infield single to
to load the bases. Greene then walked to score a run to make it 4-3.
, making his Mets' debut, relieved and walked Thurston on four pitches to tie it.
Notes: Mets RHP
, who missed his last start due to forearm tendinitis, threw in bullpen before game and is set to make his next start on Saturday.
Manuel said Pelfrey didn't have great command but had no pain. ''Nice and easy. I thought the command could have been a little
better. Oh yeah, he'll be ready,'' Manuel said. ... Duncan extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games. ... New
has 15 hits in his last 30 at-bats.