Paul DeJong hit a pair of solo homers Sunday afternoon for the St. Louis Cardinals, who salvaged the finale of a three-game series by beating the host New York Mets 5-1 at Citi Field.
With the win, the Cardinals avoided starting 0-3 for the second time in three seasons. St. Louis led for just one half-inning in its first two losses.
The Mets were looking to open 3-0 for the first time since 2012.
DeJong gave the Cardinals their first lead with a one-out homer in the second and provided some insurance with a one-out blast in the eighth. The two-homer game was the first in the majors for DeJong, who finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year race last season and signed a six-year extension worth $26 million plus team options for 2024 and 2025 on March 5.
Marcell Ozuna had three hits and two RBIs, including a run-scoring double in the third inning that gave the Cardinals the lead for good. Yadier Molina homered leading off the fourth while Tommy Pham had two hits, scored twice on Ozuna’s hits — he came home from second on Ozuna’s single in the fifth inning — and added a stolen base.
Right-hander Luke Weaver earned the win after allowing one run on five hits and three walks while striking out three over five innings. Matt Bowman (two innings), Jordan Hicks (one inning) and Dominic Leone (one inning) combined to allow two hits over the final four frames.
Amed Rosario had an RBI single in the second for the Mets while Juan Lagares had three hits. It was only the third three-hit game since the start of 2017 for Lagares, who is 5-for-8 in the last two games.
Left-hander Steven Matz took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out four over four innings. Matz is 0-7 with a 9.82 ERA in his last nine starts dating back to last July 9.
—Field Level Media