St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Wacha turned in another strong effort by a St. Louis starting pitcher to lead the Cardinals to a season-high fifth straight victory, a 5-2 decision over the New York Mets at Busch Stadium.
Wacha (5-5) held the Mets to a run on five hits while striking out seven over six innings of work. The young right-hander received support from Jon Jay and Matt Holliday, both of whom had two hits and came through with an RBI during a two-run fifth inning.
Yadier Molina added a solo homer for the Cardinals, who have now won eight of their last nine games and limited the opposition to a total of seven runs in those triumphs.
David Wright and Lucas Duda both homered and finished with two hits for the Mets, but New York recorded just three other hits and lost for the eighth straight time on the road and 11th in 14 tries overall.
Jon Niese (3-4) was saddled with the loss after surrendering five runs -- three earned -- through six innings.
Niese matched Wacha through the first four innings as both starters were sharp, with each reached for an early solo homer that created a 1-1 deadlock that the Cardinals broke behind a pair of big two-out hits in the fifth.
Jay put St. Louis ahead with a hard triple down the right-field line that brought home Daniel Descalso, hit by a Niese pitch earlier in the frame, and Holliday followed with a double in nearly the same spot to extend the margin to 3-1.
Wacha was able to strand Wright after a leadoff double in the top of the sixth, right before the Cardinals broke things open in their half of the inning.
After a fielding error by Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy kept the inning alive, pinch-hitter Kolten Wong and Peter Bourjos came through with back- to-back RBI singles for a 5-1 St. Louis advantage.
Duda got the Mets closer by leading off the ninth with a homer off Jason Motte, who then served up a double to Anthony Recker before Pat Neshek came on to get the final three outs and earn his second save of the season.
Molina clubbed a Niese fastball over the wall in left to stake the Cardinals to a 1-0 edge in the second inning, but Wright answered with a solo blast of his own to begin the fourth.
For a second straight game, Mets manager Terry Collins batted the pitcher in the No. 8 spot in the lineup and had outfielder Eric Young hit ninth ... The Cardinals improved to 20-2 against NL East opponents at home over the past two seasons ... New York has now lost a series to the Cardinals for a sixth straight time when visiting Busch Stadium ... Including a win in last year's NL Championship Series, Wacha moved to 8-0 in his last 11 home starts ... The Mets fell to 3-27 this season when scoring three or less runs.