Oliver Perez squandered a four-run lead Tuesday night, and the Mets added in some baserunning and fielding mishaps to ensure a 6-4 loss in St. Louis.
Perez looked strong early but got yanked in the fifth inning after he was tagged for four hits and three walks. After Perez walked in the Cardinals’ third run, Mets manager Jerry Manuel brought in newcomer Casey Fossum, who walked in the tying run.
Perez was charged with four earned runs on six hits and five walks while striking out four. He lost his no-hitter in the second inning when Jadier Molina singled to left to make it 7,495 games without a Mets no-hitter.
The Mets should have taken the lead in the top of the eighth.
When Ramon Castro hit a fly ball to right with Carlos Beltran on second, Beltran tagged up and took third. Beltran bolted home when the ball popped off third-baseman Joe Thurston’s glove and drifted toward the mound, but for some odd reason Beltran went in standing up. He surely would have been safe if he slid, but he stepped on Molina’s foot – not the plate – and was tagged out.
The Cardinals then took a two-run lead in the bottom half of the eighth off J.J. Putz on a rally that started when left fielder Daniel Murphy slipped and fell, handing Brendan Ryan a triple. Murphy also made a baserunning mistake in the first, and his pickoff could have short circuited what could have been a bigger rally.
Just an ugly game.