New York (11-15) at St. Louis (12-12)

Fair Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 65° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Wed Apr 30, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The stumbling New York Mets look to avoid losing a fourth straight game as they face the St. Louis Cardinals in the middle game of their series at Busch Stadium.

New York made two more errors and left 15 men on base—including seven in scoring position with one out—as it opened a six-game road trip with a 13-3 loss in St. Louis.

The Mets followed up an embarrassing effort Sunday at Shea Stadium, when they made eight errors and struck out a record 27 times in a doubleheader sweep by Arizona.

“We’ve got a long way to go, and if we put a streak together we’re right back in it,” manager Art Howe said. “But I get tired talking about it.”

Mike Piazza had three hits for New York, which now has made 30 errors in 26 games, including eight times when they received multiple errors on one play. The Mets have lost three in a row and are in last place in the NL East.

“We had a few lapses again and we just have to keep working on it,” Howe said. “Whatever you want to call it, we’ve got to execute better.”

St. Louis has won two straight to get back to the .500 mark, as Scott Rolen and Edgar Renteria each drove in four runs in the series opener.

Renteria has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games and has produced a league-high 14 multi-hit games. He’s been a run producer, either scoring or driving in a run in 18 of 24 games.

“He likes driving in runs,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “Some guys like to score runs. He likes to score runs, too, but he especially likes to drive them in. And he’s good at it because he can handle so many different pitches. That’s what makes him such a tough out. That’s why he has a well-deserved reputation for getting RBIs against good pitchers.”

STANDINGS: Mets - 5th place, 5 GB, NL East. Cardinals - 2nd place, 1 1/2 GB, NL Central.

METS PROBABLE STARTER: Pedro Astacio (1-0, 3.00 ERA). The veteran right-hander was a winner in his first start of the season, earning the victory in the Mets’ 7-4 win over the Astros on April 24. Activated from the disabled list before the game, Astacio pitched six innings, allowing two runs, four hits, struck out four and walked one. He missed most of spring training because of tendinitis in his right shoulder. Astacio is 7-11 with a 4.67 ERA in 21 career starts against St. Louis.

CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTER: Woody Williams (3-0, 0.69 ERA). In his last start, the veteran right-hander stretched his scoreless streak to 25 innings before the Braves scored twice in the sixth en route to a 4-2 win on April 24. Williams, who did not register a decision in the game, was only the third pitcher since 1990 to get through his first three starts without giving up a run, a span of 19 2-3 innings. Against Atlanta, he gave up 11 hits in 6 1-3 innings. Williams is 3-1 with a 5.77 ERA in eight career starts against the Mets.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Mets - Ty Wigginton, .268 avg. and 15 runs; Tony Clark, 4 HRs; Mo Vaughn, 14 RBIs; Roger Cedeno, 3 SBs. Cardinals - Jim Edmonds, .379 avg.; Edmonds and Scott Rolen, 5 HRs; Edmonds and Edgar Renteria, 17 RBIs; Renteria, 18 runs; Fernando Vina, 3 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Cardinals, 1-0.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Mets - C Piazza is 2-for-17 in his career against RHP Williams. … 1B Vaughn left with a stomach virus after striking out with the bases loaded in the first inning on Tuesday. … INF Jay Bell is 10-for-25 in his career against RHP Williams. Cardinals - OF Edmonds is 2-for-10 in his career against RHP Astacio. … 1B Tino Martinez served the first game of a three-game suspension on Tuesday, watching the game from the press level with longtime coach Red Schoendienst. … C Mike Matheny is hitting .667 (8-for-12) in his career against RHP Astacio.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mets - 3-8 on the road; Cardinals - 5-4 at home.

INJURIES: Mets - OF Jeromy Burnitz (hand), 15-day DL; RHP David Cone (hip), 15-day DL; LHP John Franco (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Grant Roberts (shoulder), 15-day DL. Cardinals - C Joe Girardi (back), 15-day DL; C Steve Torrealba (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Jason Isringhausen (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Lance Painter (pelvis), 15-day DL; RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Gene Stechschulte (shoulder), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

P. Astacio Was vs. W. Williams Hou
3-2 Record 18-9
7.36 ERA 3.87
20 K 153
18 BB 55
1.77 WHIP 1.25