ST. LOUIS (AP) — Dexter Fowler has hit in six different lineup slots in the last six games for the St. Louis Cardinals. In the series finale against the New York Mets, he was at the right spot at the right time.
Fowler’s 13th-inning single capped a comeback from a pair of deficits Thursday and gave the Cardinals a 4-3 victory .
“I’m a swing man, I’m hitting everywhere,” Fowler quipped. “First, second, I’m trying to get all nine. Some people play all nine positions, I just hit everywhere.”
The lineup juggling has been an attempt by Cardinals manager Mike Matheny spark Fowler and several other hitters after a slow start. Fowler has three RBIs in his last two games.
“My swing’s there,” Fowler said. “I’ve just been hitting stuff off the end of the bat, not hitting it the way I want to. I’m barreling it, just towards the end.”
St. Louis trailed 2-0 in the seventh and 3-2 in the 10th. Tommy Pham had four hits and scored twice, a day after leaving a game after cutting his head with his bat while warning up in an indoor batting game. He played with a large bandage on his head.
“It could have been worse,” Pham said. “I’m just extremely lucky.”
Jose Martinez walked with one out in the 13th against Paul Sewald (0-1), took second on a single by Marcell Ozuna and scored when Fowler singled to right for his sixth game-ending RBI.
John Gant (1-0), recalled from Triple-A Memphis before the game, pitched three perfect innings of relief for his second big league win. His first was for Atlanta against the Mets on June 17, 2016.
“He was finishing that game,” Matheny said. “He did a good job of finishing that game.”
St. Louis won its second straight against the Mets after losing the series opener in 10 innings. The Mets have lost eight of 12 after an 11-1 start.
“It would be frustrating if we weren’t where we are at in the standings,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “Were still in a pretty good spot, so what has happened the last week or week-and-a-half is not going to continue to happen. That’s just not going to happen, ’cause we have really good pitchers and really good players.”
New York went ahead 3-2 in the 10th when Luke Gregerson loaded the bases with a walk to Adrian Gonzalez and forced in a run with a walk to Jose Lobaton.
Pham singled with two outs in the bottom half and scored when Martinez doubled off the center-field wall against Jeurys Familia, who blew a save for the third time in 12 chances.
“That guy’s nasty,” Martinez said.
Mets starter Noah Syndergaard allowed two runs — one earned — and six hits in 7 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. He retired his first 10 batters and did not allow a runner into scoring position until the seventh inning.
“I think the big thing for me today was for me to going out there and throwing in and tight to hitters,” Syndergaard said. “I haven’t really had my slider all season, but it was nice going out there and mix and match my sinker and change up and curveball when I needed it.”
Pham said Syndergaard has gotten better.
“I faced him in Triple-A and I faced him a couple of years ago — he was more so just a thrower with great stuff,” Pham said. “Now he’s elevated his arsenal.”
Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez gave up one run and four hits in six innings.
Yoenis Cespedes hit an RBI double in the first that ended Martinez’s scoreless streak at 18 innings and made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. His 23 RBIs are one behind NL leader Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs.
Pham doubled leading off the seventh and scored on Marcell Ozuna’s single. Greg Garcia led off the eighth with a grounder that bounced off the glove of shortstop Amed Rosario, who didn’t get hit glove down and was charged with an error. Garcia advanced to third on Matt Carpenter’s single against Syndergaard and scored on Pham’s single off Robert Gsellman.
Martinez hit Brandon Nimmo twice and Todd Frazier once. Martinez has hit a batter in a team-record seven consecutive games dating to Sept. 26, matching Pedro Martinez and Dave Bush for the fourth-longest streak in major league history.
UP AND DOWN
RHP John Brebbia was optioned to Triple-A Memphis to make room for Gant.
Mets: Assistant hitting Coach Tom Slater served as first base coach for Ruben Amaro Jr., who was ill
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (2-0, 2.53 ERA) start Friday at San Diego in the opener off a three-game series. DeGrom has reached double digits in strikeouts in his last two starts.
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (3-0, 3.46 ERA) starts Friday at Pittsburgh. Mikolas has walked two in 26 innings this season.