Cards' Wacha shoots for win No. 6 against Mets
(SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Wacha goes after his sixth win of the season on Tuesday when the St. Louis Cardinals resume their four-game series with the New York Mets at Citi Field.
Wacha struggled through injuries for most of last season, but the 23-year-old right-hander is back to being the dominant pitcher who helped lead the Cardinals to a National League championship in 2013, going 5-0 with a 2.06 ERA in seven starts.
St. Louis has won all seven of his starts.
Wacha pitched well enough to get the win his last time out in Cleveland, but was left without a decision, as he allowed a run and five hits in five innings. He also walked a pair of batters and threw a season-high 105 pitches in his team's 2-1 win.
"You don't see that many pitches in the first two innings without a crooked number on the board somehow. He was able to make quality pitches to get out of trouble," manager Mike Matheny said.
Wacha is 2-1 in three starts versus the Mets with a 2.81 ERA.
New York, meanwhile, will turn to lefty Jon Niese, who is 3-3 with a 2.49 ERA. Niese lost for the third time in four starts on Thursday in Chicago, as the Cubs reached him for six runs (4 earned) and six hits in 6 1/3 frames.
Niese has faced the Cardinals seven times and is 4-2 against them with a 2.27 ERA.
New York wasted another superb effort from Matt Harvey in Monday's opener, but managed to win in 14 innings, as John Mayberry's RBI single propelled the Mets to a 2-1 victory.
"My approach is just to get something to put in play," said Mayberry. "I was trying to be aggressive, put the ball in play and get the run in."
Lucas Duda drove in a run and Curtis Granderson doubled twice for the Mets, who had Harvey's terrific outing almost spoiled after usually reliable closer Jeurys Familia gave up the game-tying run in the ninth.
Harvey allowed just six hits and one walk and tied a season high with nine strikeouts over eight innings in the no-decision. Carlos Torres (2-2) earned the win after tossing two scoreless innings of relief.
At 16-4, New York has matched its 1972 record for the best start after 20 home games.
Jason Heyward brought in the Cardinals' lone run and Yadier Molina finished with three hits and a walk. Starter John Lackey surrendered just one run on three hits with no walks and six strikeouts over seven frames.
"He was good," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Lackey. "He had life on the fastball. He was spotting right from the start, just making good pitches and making them come to him. He was not making mistakes."
The Mets won four of seven from the Cards last season.