7,496: Maine struggles, Mets’ bats go cold in 5-2 loss to Cards

Quality starts anyone?

John Maine struggled in his third start of the season and the Mets couldn’t get their bats going Wednesday night during a 5-2 loss in St. Louis.

The Cardinals’ Joel Pineiro pitched a gem, getting pulled in the ninth only after David Wright led off with a double down the third base line. He gave up just two earned runs on six hits and two walks in his eight innings of work.

Maine, on the other hand, lasted just 5 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and five walks. He lost his no-no in the first inning when Colby Rasmus lined a double past a diving Carlos Delgado to make it 7,496 New York Mets games without a no-hitter.

The Cardinals took a quick 1-0 lead and later tagged Maine for two runs each in the third and fourth innings.

The Mets got their first run in the third inning when Daniel Murphy singled home Luis Castillo. Carlos Beltran knocked home Wright in the ninth with a double to make it 5-2, but Ryan Church and pinch-hitter Gary Sheffield couldn’t continue the rally.

The Mets managed just seven hits – three of them by Beltran – and fell to 6-8 on the season.

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