National League Roundup : Cardinals Defeat Mets in 13th, 6-2

From Times Wire Services

It took until the final weekend of the 1985 season for the St. Louis Cardinals to finish off the New York Mets and win the Eastern Division.

Off their first meeting of 1986, it looks as if it could be more of the same this season.

The Cardinals scored four runs in the 13th inning Monday to spoil the Mets' home opener, 6-2, before 47,752 fans at New York.

"It doesn't look like it's going to stop any time soon," Willie McGee said after singling and scoring the tiebreaking run in the 13th.

In 1985, the Cardinals-Mets series produced six extra-inning games, 11 one-run games and a beanball battle. St. Louis wound up winning 10 of the 18 games and went on to the World Series.

"Yeah, we've had some barn-burners," St. Louis Manager Whitey Herzog said.

The Cardinals broke a 2-2 tie in the 13th when an error by New York third baseman Howard Johnson allowed two runs to score.

Mets' ace Dwight Gooden pitched eight innings, yielding two runs on five hits and struck out six. Ricky Horton of the Cardinals went seven innings, allowing one run on two hits.

Randy Niemann (0-2) was the victim of Johnson's error. Pat Perry (1-0) pitched two innings for the victory.

McGee, who entered the game with 11 hits in 23 lifetime at-bats against Gooden, singled home the tying run in the sixth inning and put St. Louis ahead, 2-1, with a sacrifice fly in the eighth. Darryl Strawberry's RBI single in the ninth sent the game into extra innings.

After Johnson's error, Ozzie Smith doubled home two more runs for the Cardinals.

"The biggest surprise is I didn't get it," said Johnson, who let the ball go through his legs. "I misjudged the ball coming to my glove. I saw myself throwing him (McGee) out at the plate."

Tito Landrum, who hit the ball, said: "The first groan was from me when I hit it, but the second groan was from the crowd when he missed it."

Pittsburgh 3, Philadelphia 1--R.J. Reynolds doubled home the winning run in the 10th inning and Joe Orsulak singled in another as the Pirates won their third straight game by beating the Phillies at Philadelphia.

Cecilio Guante (1-0), who has appeared in four of the Pirates' five games, allowed one hit in two innings of relief. Jim Winn pitched the 10th and gained his first save.

The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the third when Orsulak doubled and scored on a single by Johnnie Ray. The Phillies tied it in the fifth on Milt Thompson's sacrifice fly.

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