Mets deal a loss to the Cards

March 26, 2009 4:19:15 PM PDT
John Maine took another step toward being ready for the regular season, throwing 95 pitches in the New York Mets' 9-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday. Maine, who had a bone spur shaved in his right shoulder in September, gave up six hits and three runs - one earned - in five innings. He struck out five, walked three and threw two wild pitches.

"This whole spring has been working on things," said Maine, who entered with a 10.38 ERA. "That's what I did today. I pitched a little more in situations where I didn't early in the spring."

The Cardinals played without manager Tony La Russa, who was in Richmond, Va., serving as a pallbearer at the funeral for his mother-in-law. La Russa is expected to rejoin the team in time for Friday's game in Fort Myers against the Red Sox.

Bench coach Joe Pettini ran the team.

Maine, slated to be the fourth starter, has been working on his slider, his changeup and lengthening his stride.

"I got some swings and misses on changeups, gave up a couple hits with it, but they're still good pitches," he said. "My slider, it feels good. I threw some good ones but I threw some bad ones. I just have to be more consistent."

Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright also had his best spring outing as he prepares for an opening day start.

Wainwright surrendered two runs on five hits and four walks in 5 1-3 innings. He struck out eight giving him 15 strikeouts in his last 10 1-3 innings.

"I feel like I'm getting better every time I go out," said Wainwright, who will have one more start before facing Pittsburgh April 6. "The progression is where I want it. Today was definitely the best I felt. Mostly I controlled the counts."

The Mets rallied from a 3-2 deficit with seven runs in the seventh inning off Trever Miller. Five of those were unearned after Colby Rasmus' error in right field.

Jose Reyes drove in two run, giving him three for the game, and Omir Santos' two-run pinch-hit home run concluded the scoring.

J.J. Putz pitched a perfect sixth for the win.

Note: Infielder Ramon Martinez, who is in camp as a non-roster invitee, left Thursday for Philadelphia, where he will be examined for a possible sports hernia.