Alonso, Quintana spark Mets to victory over Cardinals
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Pete Alonso hit a two-run homer, José Quintana won for the first time this season and the New York Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Thursday night to open a four-game series.
“He's solid. He had all three pitches," Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “That's a tough lineup. He's a guy who chases command instead of velocity. In a lot of ways, he's a throwback.”
Quintana (1-4) beat his former team by pitching into the seventh inning. He gave up three hits, including a homer in the seventh to Tyler O’Neill, and two runs. It was his first time facing the Cardinals since signing with the Mets as a free agent in the offseason.
“It means a lot to me. All my teammates gave me really good support in the game,” Quintana said. “I felt really good out there. Overall, it feels great. My first win as a Met and I couldn't be more happy.”
Tim Locastro led off the ninth with a pinch-hit home run, his first this season for New York. It was the third one of his career.
Trevor Gott pitched the ninth for his first save. He got Paul Goldschmidt looking with two on to end the game.
The Mets have won four of their past five games.
The loss denied Adam Wainwright (3-8) a chance to pick up career win No. 199. But it was a better outing for the 41-year-old right-hander, who is in his final season.
“This was a good step. Definitely one I can build off of,” Wainwright said. “I felt like myself out there, controlling counts. The last couple of outings, I let what has happened this year affect me way too much. I'm always pitching for my life. I'm always trying to prove something, trying to make the team.”
Wainwright, plagued by injuries and ineffectiveness this season, pitched six innings, throwing 93 pitches. Wainwright, who turns 42 on Aug. 30, allowed three runs on four hits in his third-longest outing this season.
“It's tough as a baseball fan,” Showalter said. “He's impressive. To go out a give his team a chance. It was two veteran pitches who know how to maneuver the baseball in the zone. You can sit there and look at a (radar) gun and then look out there and see zeroes and no many hits. It was a pitcher's game tonight.”
St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol liked what he saw from his veteran.
“It looked a lot more like an Adam Wainwright start,” Marmol said. “I felt like he pitched well. He'll take his next start.”
In his last outing, Wainwright allowed eight runs in one inning in the shortest start of his career against Kansas City.
“He's one of my favorites,” Quintana said about his former teammate. “I learned a lot from him. He's an amazing, great human being. Hopefully he gets his 200 wins.”
Alonso hit 3-2 sinker 437 feet into the center field grass, scoring Jeff McNeil for a 2-0 lead in the fourth. It was Alonso’s 37th homer of the season and gave him 91 RBIs.
“I thought Waino was going back to the well with another cutter,” Alonso said. “Instead, he threw a sinker and I was just trying to hit a single over the second baseman's head. I caught it with the barrell and I hit it a long way.”
Quintana loaded the bases in the fourth on a single and two walks with two outs. A force out ended the threat.
The Mets added a run in the fifth when Franciso Lindor doubled home Rafael Ortega, extending New York’s lead to 3-0.
The Cardinals chased Quintana in the seventh. After the leadoff homer by O’Neill, Jordan Walker walked and Andrew Knizner singled. Drew Smith relieved and gave up a sacrifice fly before getting two ground outs. The runs snapped a 22 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings streak at Busch Stadium for Quintana.
Nolan Arenado appeared in his 1,500th career game Thursday, becoming only the eighth player in major league history to have 320-plus home runs, 350-plus doubles, 1,000-plus RBI, and 3,000-plus total bases in his first 1,500 career games. The milestone was last achieved by Albert Pujols from 2001-10 with St. Louis.
Cardinals LHP Zack Thompson (2-4, 3.96) was set to make his first career appearance against the Mets on Friday. New York had not announced a starter.
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