Carlos Beltran battered his former team with three hits -- including a three-run homer -- and knocked in four runs to help the St. Louis Cardinals take a 10-4 win over the slumping New York Mets.
Allen Craig drove in a pair and Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday and Pete Kozma drove in a run apiece for the streaking Cardinals, who have captured 11 of their last 13 contests. Jon Jay added a solo homer in the victory.
Despite a four-run sixth inning, John Gast (1-0) had a very successful major league debut. He allowed just three hits in his first five frames of work before ending a six-inning outing with three strikeouts and a walk.
Mired in a horrific funk offensively, New York lost a fifth straight contest and fell for the 13th time in its last 16 games. Dillon Gee (2-5) was charged with six runs -- five earned -- over four innings.
The Mets fell behind 9-0 before John Buck and Lucas Duda drove in a run each. Marlon Byrd added a two-run homer in the setback.
"We've gone through a bad streak and its been two weeks long" said Mets manager Terry Collins. "We can't sit there and hide the fact and try make something positive out of it. We're just not hitting."
The Cardinals offense didn't take long to heat up, with Gee giving up three runs before even recording an out.
Carpenter walked and Beltran reached on a throwing error from Ike Davis. Holiday plated a run with a double to deep center and Craig followed with a two-run single up the middle for a 3-0 Cardinals lead.
Their edge continued to grow two innings later when they plated three more runs on a couple RBI singles.
With runners on first and second, Kozma hit a grounder up the middle to plate a run and after Gee struck out Gast, he gave up back-to-back, run-scoring hits to Carpenter and Beltran to put New York in a six-run hole.
Gee was pulled after the fourth and Robert Carson promptly walked two batters -- one of which was Gast -- upon his entrance. Soon after, Beltran took him deep with a shot well into the left field seats, putting the Cards ahead 9-0.
"Right now I just feel good at the plate," said Beltran. "I'm just seeing the baseball and not thinking about anything, just reacting to what I'm getting."
Gast had posted a 32 innings scoreless streak down at Triple-A Memphis in April, and kept New York off the board for his first five innings of major league work. However, the rookie got in some trouble in the sixth.
After putting runners on first and second, Gast served up an RBI single to Buck. David Wright, who walked the at-bat prior, took third on the hit and scored on a Duda groundout to first before Byrd launched a two-run homer to cap a four-run inning.
Jay's homer in the bottom of the sixth capped the scoring and three St. Louis relievers combined for three perfect innings to wrap up the victory.
New York has totaled 14 runs over its five-game skid and have dropped 11 of the last 14 meetings with the Cardinals at Busch Stadium ... St. Louis went 6- for-15 with runners in scoring position ... It was Beltran's 10th home run of the season.