Nolan Arenado hit a three-run homer to power the St. Louis Cardinals past the visiting New York Mets 6-5 Monday night.
Harrison Bader added a solo homer for the Cardinals, who won their fifth consecutive game to climb into a first-place tie with the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central.
Winning pitcher Adam Wainwright (1-3) allowed five runs on seven hits, three walks (one intentional) and a hit batter. He also recorded five strikeouts, including his 1,000th home-field strikeout for the franchise.
Alex Reyes, the fifth Cardinals pitcher, closed out the ninth inning to earn his eighth save.
Kevin Pillar hit a two-run homer and scored twice to pace the Met offense.
Losing pitcher Joey Lucchesi (0-2) allowed six runs on seven hits, including two homers, in 2 2/3 innings.
The Cardinals took a 1-0 first-inning lead when Tommy Edman hit a leadoff triple and scored on Dylan Carlson’s sacrifice fly.
The Mets countered by taking a 2-1 lead in the second inning.
Pete Alonso led off the second inning with a double and Pillar dropped a one-out single into center field. Alonso stopped at third, but Pillar reached second base when Bader overthrew the cutoff man. Wainwright walked Jonathan Villar intentionally to load the bases, then hit Tomas Nido to force in a run.
One out later Jeff McNeil walked to force home another run. Finally Wainwright struck out Francisco Lindor to leave the bases loaded.
Bader tied the game with his homer in the bottom of the inning.
More wildness cost Wainwright in the third inning. Michael Conforto walked, raced to third on Alonso’s double, and scored on Dominic Smith’s groundout.
Pillar followed with a two-run homer to put the Mets up 5-2.
But the Cardinals staged a two-out rally to take 6-5 lead in their half of the third. Carlson and Paul Goldschmidt reached on singles and Arenado blasted his three-run homer.
Paul DeJong and Tyler O’Neill followed with doubles to put the Cardinals up 6-5 and knock Lucchesi out of the game.