Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 5, Mets 1

Recap | Box score | Photos

ST. LOUIS -- Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey had one small bad stretch in the second inning, when he gave up four straight singles that resulted in three runs. He recovered and only allowed one hit in his remaining three innings, but the Mets' offense was was held to only one run on nine hits losing 5-1 to the Cardinals.

New York is 6-3 in its last nine games and 18-32 on the road since the All-Star break.

Inning killer: Center fielder Andres Torres made the defensive play of the game in the seventh inning when he raced to his right, dove and caught a sinking liner from Daniel Descalso with two runners on.

Keep that ball: Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia made his big-league debut by fanning pinch hitter Lance Berkman to start the eighth inning.

Home cooking: Mets reliever Justin Hampson, who pitched nearby Edwardsville (Ill.) High School to the large school state title in 1999, pitched his first game at Busch Stadium despite working in 82 major league games. He was called up from Buffalo of the International League on Monday night. Hampson previously pitched with Colorado and San Diego and was with the big club earlier this year, making his debut June 25 against Chicago.

One for the record book: Shortstop Ruben Tejada managed to get to a bouncer by Yadier Molina in the second at deep short, behind a diving David Wright. His throw to first baseman Daniel Murphy was off target and Murphy had to leave the bag. Molina was credited with a hit, his 1,000th of his career. It might have been a double, if not for Ruben knocking it down.

Running it down: Torres took a hit away from David Freese in the fifth when he sprinted into medium right-center field and almost doubled Molina at first base.

Leadoff punch: Harvey took a ball at the base of his left hand near his glove in the first inning off the bat of Jon Jay. Mets training staff and manager Terry Collins came to the mound for a look and Harvey continued.

Up next: Two of the best in the NL face each other in the series final at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday. The Mets pitch R.A. Dickey (17-4) and Adam Wainwright (13-11) will go for the the Cards.