NEW YORK -- With a 360-foot relay in the ninth inning, the New York Mets prevented a hard-fought victory from vanishing in the wind. Jarrett Boykin Packers Jersey
. Lucas Duda hit a long home run and New York threw out the potential tying run at the plate to hold off the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 Wednesday on a blustery night at Citi Field. Jonathon Niese earned his first win of the season, and shortstop Ruben Tejada cut down Matt Carpenter for the second out of the ninth on a strong relay from centre fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis. "My hearts still racing," Mets catcher Travis dArnaud said. "A 180-spin throw like that -- a perfect throw. I still cant believe I witnessed that." St. Louis manager Mike Matheny challenged the call by plate umpire Marty Foster, which was confirmed following a replay review of 1 minute, 20 seconds that showed dArnaud nicked Carpenter with a sweep tag behind his armpit. "I didnt feel the tag and I initially thought that I was safe," Carpenter said. "But I got a chance to look at it and it was a good call." With a runner on second, Kyle Farnsworth sealed it by retiring Matt Holliday on a tricky fly to right. Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha (2-2) set career highs with 10 strikeouts and five walks in the shortest of his 14 regular-season starts in the majors. A bizarre outing if ever there was one -- but it was that sort of night. Curtis Granderson snapped his career-worst hitless skid at 22 at-bats with a first-inning single, and the Mets got 6 2-3 effective innings from Niese (1-2) with wind gusting up to 41 mph on a 51-degree night. "Kind of throwing cue balls out there," Niese said. "It kind of felt like I was throwing with an ice pack on. Its tough to keep warm." Carlos Torres and Scott Rice escaped an eighth-inning jam before Farnsworth worked the ninth for his second save. He gave up consecutive singles and an RBI double to pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso that one-hopped the wall in left-centre, but New Yorks defence saved Farnsworth. "Two great throws," Carpenter said. "Thats a tough play thats not made a whole lot, especially with the game on the line." Carpenter had four hits and Yadier Molina added three for the Cardinals, but Jhonny Peraltas hitless streak reached 21 at-bats. Peralta popped out with runners at second and third in the eighth before pinch-hitter Matt Adams flied out to end the inning. Niese improved to 4-1 with a 1.87 ERA in six career starts against St. Louis. "I dont know what it is with Jon and cold weather, but he gets the call," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He pitched absolutely great tonight in the conditions." The game began in a 31 mph wind at a mostly empty stadium. Workers hustled between innings to clean up all the flying napkins and hot dog wrappers that littered the outfield -- even bundled-up second base umpire Rob Drake helped out during a stoppage in play. "It was terrible. The worst. Not fun," Carpenter said. High popups and flyballs were an adventure. Tejada dropped one after retreating into the outfield, then scampering back to the infield. New York still got an easy forceout on the play. Wachas red cap blew right off his head as he was waiting for a new ball and rolled, like tumbleweed, to second baseman Mark Ellis. Duda homered against Seth Maness leading off the sixth, a laser beam of a line drive that cut under the wind and nearly reached the Shea Bridge walkway above the bullpens in right-centre. It was the first home run for the Mets in their past seven home games, ending their longest such drought since May 2012. Early on, it appeared the 22-year-old Wacha was headed to a record-setting performance. Last years NL championship series MVP overpowered the Mets with nine strikeouts in the first three innings but soon lost his control. He walked three in the fourth, including No. 8 batter Tejada and Nieuwenhuis with the bases loaded, forcing in two runs. Wacha was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fifth after throwing 93 pitches. Coming in, he had issued only three free passes in 26 innings this season. The Mets said Wacha joined Smoky Joe Wood (1909), Felix Hernandez (2013) and Danny Salazar (2014) as the only pitchers since 1900 to have at least 10 strikeouts in an outing that lasted no more than four innings, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Molina doubled home a run with two outs in the first, extending his hitting streak to 14 games, after Tejada and the Mets botched a rundown that should have resulted in an inning-ending double play. NOTES: Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright (knee) expects to make his next scheduled start Sunday against Pittsburgh, Matheny said. ... Mets leadoff hitter Eric Young Jr. was rested. Mike Pennel Packers Jersey
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. The Philadelphia left fielder clubbed a tiebreaking, solo home run in the seventh inning, and the Phillies edged the Red Sox, 2-1, in the middle test of a three-game interleague series at Citizens Bank Park.TSNs Jack Armstrong offers his thoughts on the agressiveness of Paul George, the struggles of LeBron James in Game 5, the prospects of Billy Donovan as an NBA head coach, the swagger of Cory Joseph and the maturation of Russell Westbrook. 1. Paul George (Pacers): Brilliant fourth quarter Wednesday night as he saved his team from elimination. Unfortunately, we havent see that from him enough in the playoffs and surely in the second half of the regular season. He let it rip in Game 5 and loved his aggressiveness and the attack mode that he took. When he plays like an elite player, it settles the rest of the roster down and guys are able to play their games. Still dont like their chances though; their bench has been a huge bust and though the defence was a bit better Wednesday, it hasnt been up to par in this series. I like Miami to close in Game 6 at home. 2. LeBron James (Heat): Played less than 25 minutes due to foul trouble! How often do you ever hear or see that? An aberration to say the least. Obviously, that helped the Pacers immensely. I tend to doubt youll be hearing that phrase too often the rest of the playoffs for Mr. James. When its time for the spotlight to shine brightest, hell be out there. 3. Billy Donovan (University of Florida): Where there is smoke, there is fire. Keep hearing his name when you talk about NBA jobs. Hes a terrific head coach and has done a wonderful job with the Gators. Already took the Orlando Magic job and then backed out years ago when Stan Van Gundy ended up taking it. Worked out great for both guys. Talking to a number of college coaches of late, many of them are getting tired of the one and done mentality that many players have and the concept of the free agent mentality that many players have today regarding transferring oout each offseason. Green Bay Packers Jerseys
. . I know, I get it, its a two-way street for both sides yet I think when you coach at the highest level in top-notch leagues and have constant movement each year, you say to yourself, might as well get to where everyones trying to get to and not have to deal with recruiting and academics and the goofy NCAA rules and deal totally with why you do it in the first place: basketball - the game - and not the other nonsense. Like many college coaches, Im sure Donovan has had those thoughts. If he comes to the NBA, I have no doubt hed be good. 4. Cory Joseph (Spurs): Loved the swagger he played with in Game 4. Came in and looked like he belonged. Love the dunk on Serge Ibaka; posterized him! Hes a passionate competitor and you cant discount that playing in San Antonio has greatly helped his development as a young player. Hes had nice stints of play at times this year and with a guy like Patty Mills in front of him behind Tony Parker, minutes are tough to come by. When youre called upon, be ready. He has shown me that when that happens, hes ready to get after it. Good for him. 5. Russell Westbrook (Thunder): What a Game 4 performance with 40 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and five steals. When you look around the NBA right now, there arent many more talented guys than this guy out there. Yes, at times, he can drive you crazy with his self-absorbed play but you cant discount his ability. Hopefully, the consistent maturity and professional/team-oriented approach becomes a part of his daily persona. I see a young guy that is maturing and still figuring it out; a guy you definitely stick with because there is so much there and he really wants to win. Just still learning how to go about it the right way, but its coming. Wholesale NFL Jerseys
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