ST. LOUIS -- Chris Bassitt pitched six strong innings, and the New York Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 Tuesday night for their franchise-best sixth straight series win to start a season.
Bassitt (3-1) struck out six batters and allowed two hits and two walks. Drew Smith and Adam Ottavino combined to pitch two innings of scoreless relief before Edwin Díaz pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save in four opportunities.
Cardinals starting pitcher Jordan Hicks (1-2) allowed two runs on two hits and two walks in two innings before being pulled in the top of the third inning after being struck on the right wrist by a Dominic Smith line drive in the second.
Hicks walked Brandon Nimmo and then left the game with a right wrist contusion. X-rays taken at the ballpark came back negative for Hicks, who was making his second career start after being a reliever for years.
The Mets have been plunked a major-league leading 18 times now after it happened three times Tuesday night.
Hicks hit Smith in the second and Pete Alonso was hit by Kodi Whitley in the eighth inning, after which benches and bullpens started to clear. Both benches were warned, and tensions quickly fizzled down.
Then Starling Marte was plunked by Aaron Brooks with the bases loaded in the ninth, leading to the final score.
Jeff McNeil doubled to right field to leadoff the third and scored on James McCann's ensuing double to the center field wall to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Marte greeted rookie relief pitcher Andre Pallante with a single down the left field line to drive in McCann and put the Mets up 2-0.
The Cardinals have lost three straight for the first time this season.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol lost his first challenge of his managerial career when he challenged second base umpire Charlie Ramos' call that McNeil beat Brendan Donovan to second base to get a force out to end the fifth inning. Plate umpire and crew chief Mark Wegner announced the ruling on the field stood. The Cardinals had won their previous four challenges in 2022.
CALL FOR ARMS
The Mets have signed veteran right-handed relief pitcher Tommy Hunter on a minor league contract. The 35-year-old did not allow an earned run in 8 1/3 innings over four appearances with the Mets in 2021.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom is continuing to heal from a stress reaction in his right scapula. deGrom will begin strengthening activities but has not been cleared to throw.
RHP Carlos Carrasco (1-0, 1.58 ERA) takes the mound for the Mets in Wednesday's series finale; he is 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA in two career starts against St. Louis.
The Cardinals will start LHP Steven Matz (2-1, 5.27 ERA) in his second career start against his former team.
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