Pujols homer in 14th erases Mets’ comebacks

Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer in the top of the 14th inning Saturday night to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 10-8 win over the New York Mets, who now hold just a one-game lead in the N.L. East on the Philadelphia Phillies.

With Pedro Martinez home in the Dominican Republic to attend his dad’s funeral, the Mets gave the ball to Brandon Knight, an emergency call-up from the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs.

Knight got into trouble early, giving up four runs on three hits, a walk and a hit batsman in the top of the first inning. But he settled down to give the Mets four strong innings and allow the team to climb back into the game and take a 5-4 lead.

St. Louis scored four runs in the sixth to retake the lead, but the Mets crawled back again to send the game into extra innings.

With both the Mets bench and bullpen spent, Aaron Heilman was forced to pitch a third inning in the 14th and Pujols (5-for-8, 3 runs scored, 3 RBIs) got the best of him, knocking the ball over the left field wall. The Mets unfortunately didn’t have a third comeback in them.

Carlos Delgado hit a pair of homers and Jose Reyes went 4-for-8 with two doubles and a solo home run. Fernando Tatis (3-for-5, 2 RBIs) hit a clutch homer in the bottom of the ninth to force a little more baseball (The game would wind up topping five hours).

Knight lost his chance at the first New York Mets’ no-hitter on the first batter when he gave up a leadoff single to Skip Schumaker, who wound up going 6-for-7 on the night. It was the 906th Mets game that began with a leadoff hit by the opponent, and the 681st potential no-hitter broken up by a single.

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