Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Cardinals 1

NEW YORK -- Dillon Gee is making it difficult for the Mets to boot him from the rotation once top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler arrives next week.

Gee pitched his third straight great game as he shut down baseball's top team with 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball in the Mets' 5-1 win over St. Louis on Wednesday night. In his past three starts, all coming against 2012 playoff teams, Gee has thrown 21 innings and given up just three earned runs.

Making a case: Just a few weeks ago, Gee was arguably having the poorest season of any Mets starter. In the past few weeks, he's turned that around as he has been able to give length and string together perhaps his best outings.

Part of Gee's problem earlier this season was he struggled to go deep into games, usually lasting only about five innings. As teams saw him more, they figured him out and knocked him out of games. In his past three starts, he's gone at least 6 2/3 in each of them, with two of those outings lasting at least seven.

Wednesday, he put runners on in every inning but one, but he finagled his way out of trouble each time. The Cardinals were just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position against him, and the lone run came on a homer. Gee gave up six hits and walked two while striking out seven as he improved to 5-6.

Going long: The Mets were buoyed by a trio of solo shots from Lucas Duda, David Wright and Marlon Byrd. Duda hit his 11th in the fourth inning to give the Mets a 3-0 edge, and Wright added his ninth on a blast to center to make it 4-1 in the sixth. Byrd also hit his ninth in the seventh to make it 5-1. Duda is tied for the team lead in homers with John Buck, while Wright and Byrd are tied for third.

Taking advantage: In the first, the Mets jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to RBI singles by Daniel Murphy and Duda, as well as some lackadaisical play from St. Louis. With the Mets up 1-0 and Murphy on first, Duda hit a single on a 3-2 pitch to right. Carlos Beltran fielded it and threw to second, but as he made his throw, Murphy was waved home and he scored safely to boost the lead. Had Beltran thrown home, or gone to the cutoff man, Murphy likely wouldn't have scored.

Up next: There's a fair chance this game may be rained out, but aces Matt Harvey (5-0, 2.10 ERA) and Adam Wainwright (9-3, 2.34) square off at 1:10 p.m.