03/13/12 4:00 PM ET
Pelfrey struggles in loss to Cardinals
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
PORT ST.LUCIE, Fla. -- Carlos Beltran may not have contributed much in his first game against his former club, but his Cardinals teammates did plenty of damage Tuesday in a 7-1 victory over the Mets at Digital Domain Park.
David Freese highlighted the early scoring against Mets starter Mike Pelfrey with a two-run home run in the first, before Yadier Molina extended the lead with a solo shot in the second. Pelfrey allowed four total runs over 4 1/3 innings, though he did hold Beltran hitless in his first two at-bats.
"I was going to wink at him or do something but he never looked at me," Pelfrey quipped of his longtime teammate. "It was definitely different facing him after playing with him for so long. I know in his first at-bat I kind of left the ball over the middle. I'm just glad he popped it up."
Beltran also flew out against left-hander Garrett Olson in the fifth inning and singled in the seventh, finishing 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Olson, who walked a batter and was on the mound for Tyler Greene's steal of home in the fifth, is among the favorites to win an Opening Day bullpen job now that Tim Byrdak will miss six weeks recovering from left knee surgery.
The Mets scored their first run on Lucas Duda's sacrifice fly off Maikel Cleto in the fourth, after Adam Wainwright submitted three scoreless innings for the Cardinals. But Mets closer Frank Francisco gave up a run for a third consecutive outing, this one on Matt Carpenter's RBI double in the sixth. An inning later, the Cardinals put the game out of reach on Bryan Anderson's two-run double off Ramon Ramirez.
Up next: Second baseman Daniel Murphy will be without his double-play partner when the Mets take on the Tigers at 1:05 p.m. ET Wednesday in Lakeland, Fla., in a game that can be seen on MLB.TV. Though manager Terry Collins aimed to pair Murphy and shortstop Ruben Tejada whenever possible this spring, Tejada will not make the trip due to a left groin strain. Dillon Gee is expected to start.