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ST. LOUIS (AP) — It was a night of firsts for Robert Gsellman, who made his major league debut for the New York Mets on Tuesday night.
Wilmer Flores and Justin Ruggiano homered as the Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-4.
The offense helped Gsellman (1-0) get the decision. Gsellman, pressed into action after starter Jonathon Niese left with an injury in the first inning, pitched 3 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run.
"It was my first time ever coming out of the bullpen so it felt kind of awkward, but you still have to take the mound the same way when you're starting," Gsellman said. "I just thought I was starting the game all over and just tried to make some pitches."
Niese had been dealing with knee discomfort this season. Gsellman was ready.
"That's a tough spot even for a veteran to come out in the first inning, guys on, I tell you very, very, very impressive," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "They always talked about the stuff's there. I was impressed that he came in and threw strikes for the most part and kept us in the game."
Jose Reyes reached four base times and scored three runs. Asdrubal Cabrera had three hits, drove in a run and scored once.
"I've been working on my swing on both sides of the plate to try to get it where I need to be," Reyes said. "Right now I feel like it's there."
Collins said Reyes changes the energy of the team.
"You're talking about one of the premier players in the game," Collins said. "We know Jose's got a lot to prove right now and he's doing it."
Jeurys Familia earned his 42nd save, one shy of the Mets' season record set by Familia last year and Armando Benitez in 2001.
Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia (10-9) gave up a season-high six runs at home, in just four innings. New York broke a 22 1/3-inning streak in which Garcia hadn't given up an earned run at home to the Mets.
"He just didn't have that movement, didn't get to work ahead in counts," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Just kind of one of those tough ones."
Brandon Moss reached three times and drove in a run while Randal Grichuk's solo homer in the sixth extended the Cardinals' home run streak to 12 games.
Yadier Molina had three hits and an RBI for St. Louis.
Cabrera made a diving stop on a grounder up the middle by Jhonny Peralta to end the third. Cabrera's stop and subsequent force out saved at least one run.
Yoenis Cespedes of the Mets robbed Stephen Piscotty of a solo homer in the sixth with a leaping catch over the left field wall.
Niese left the game after facing four batters with left knee pain.
Niese retired just one of the four hitters he faced, walking two and giving up an RBI single to Moss before being lifted for Gsellman. All three runners he allowed eventually scored.
Niese and Collins acknowledged that a trip to the disabled list is a possibility.
"I've got to get it fixed," Niese said. "I can't keep going out there like that. There's a lot of pain, I'm altering my mechanics, I'm not able to stay behind each pitch, I'm not able to locate and I'm not helping myself out or the team."
Mets: LHP Steven Matz (left shoulder tightness) was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to Aug. 15 and INF Neil Walker was placed on the paternity leave list. Gsellman and IF T.J. Rivera were recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.
Cardinals: INF Aledmys Diaz (right thumb fracture) took ground balls for the first time since being placed on the DL on Aug. 1 and INF Matt Adams (right shoulder inflammation) expects to go on a rehab assignment this week.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (7-6, 2.73 ERA) is looking to bounce back after allowing a career-high eight runs and 13 hits in a 10-7 loss to San Francisco on Aug. 18. He is 1-1 with a 4.38 ERA in two career games against St. Louis.
Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (11-7, 3.24 ERA) allowed one run over seven innings in an 8-2 win over Houston on Aug. 17. He is 2-1 with a 1.31 ERA in his career against New York.
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