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Mets Stun Cardinals With a Wild Ninth Inning Comeback

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ST. LOUIS — Pinch-hitter Dominic Smith hustled for an infield single that drove in two pivotal runs, and the Mets capitalized on an uncharacteristic error by Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado to rally for five runs with two outs within the ninth inning of a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night.

After the hit by Smith gave the Mets the lead, Brandon Nimmo capped the outburst with a two-run homer.

Mets 5, Cardinals 2 | Box Rating | Play-by-Play

“It was definitely worth the wait,” Mets Manager Buck Showalter said. “It really was. It was fun to observe.”

Max Scherzer struck out 10 over seven innings of two-hit ball in a scoreless duel with Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas. A two-run single by Tyler O’Neill off Trevor May (1-0) put St. Louis ahead within the eighth.

The Mets were right down to their final strike when Mark Canha hit a grounder to 3rd. Arenado, awarded a Gold Glove in each of his nine major league seasons, fielded the ball cleanly behind the bag but took his time making an off-balance throw to first.

The ball sailed high for an error that allowed Eduardo Escobar to attain from second, making it 2-1. Canha was credited — curiously — with an infield single.

Jeff McNeil doubled, sending pinch-runner Travis Jankowski to 3rd, and Smith hit a pointy one-hopper that was snagged by sprawling first baseman Paul Goldschmidt behind the bag.

A season that was unsure is suddenly in full gear.

But closer Giovanny Gallegos (0-1) was late covering first, and Smith beat him to the bag with a headfirst dive.

“You are attempting to hustle as hard as you’ll be able to to beat him. I saw the closer didn’t recover from instantly,” Smith said. “I just ran as hard as I could. I knew I had a step on him. I felt slow but I attempted to run hard.”

McNeil never stopped coming around third and slid in safely on the plate ahead of Gallegos’ throw, giving the fired-up Mets a 3-2 lead.

“Dom probably ran the fastest 90 of his life there,” McNeil said. “I knew it could be close at first base. I ended up scoring. It was numerous fun.”

Not for St. Louis, after Gallegos’s gaffe proved costly.

“It’s pretty easy. We’re going to make physical mistakes. That’s a mental mistake there,” manager Oliver Marmol said. “You possibly can’t excuse it. He knows it. We understand it. He’s got to cover first.”

Nimmo then lofted the primary pitch from lefty reliever T.J. McFarland over the fence within the right-field corner.

“Plenty of good things went into that ninth,” Showalter said.

Pitching in his hometown, Scherzer reached double digits in strikeouts for the 106th time — which ranks fifth on the profession chart. In his first season with the Mets since signing a $130 million, three-year contract, the three-time Cy Young Award winner has 33 strikeouts and eight walks in 25 innings.

After the sport, the Mets said injured ace Jacob deGrom had an M.R.I. and CT scan that “revealed considerable healing of the stress response on his scapula.” The 2-time Cy Young Award winner was cleared to start “loading and strengthening” of his right shoulder and can undergo one other M.R.I. in about three weeks. He is predicted to be sidelined until a minimum of June.

PHOENIX — Some pitchers chase wins, saves or strikeouts.

Walker Buehler’s statistic of selection is innings pitched.

So it was a giant moment for the 27-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers ace when he walked off the mound Monday night after throwing nine superb innings, wrapping up his first profession shutout in a 4-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 0 | Box Rating | Play-by-Play

“The fellows I grew up watching did that,” Buehler said. “That was what it meant to be good.”

Buehler (2-1) tossed a three-hitter and Will Smith launched a solo homer for the Dodgers, who won for the eleventh time in 13 games.

Buehler cruised most of the best way, retiring 15 straight batters during a superb stretch from the fourth inning to the ninth. He walked none, hit one batter with a pitch and struck out 10, leaving the sphere to a standing ovation from the sizable contingent of Dodgers fans at Chase Field.

The precise-hander threw 108 pitches, getting Christian Walker on a fly ball to center field for the ultimate out. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Buehler told him he wasn’t coming out of the sport as he left the sphere following the eighth inning.

It was one other tough pitching decision for Roberts, who took some heat earlier this yr when he pulled Clayton Kershaw after seven perfect innings against Minnesota. Roberts has said he doesn’t regret the Kershaw decision and he definitely doesn’t regret leaving Buehler in to complete his shutout.

“I trusted him,” Roberts said. “I believed him. He has an additional day before his next start, so all the things lined up, made sense. He deserved it, he earned it and it was fun to observe him tonight.”

Monday’s other box scores and summaries

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