Cardinals 5, Mets 4: Ninth-inning rally falls short

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Prospects Amed Rosario and Matt Reynolds had consecutive run-scoring singles with two outs in the ninth. However, Jordan Walden rallied by striking out Kirk Nieuwenhuis looking to strand Reynolds at second base as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Mets, 5-4, Wednesday at Tradition Field.

The Mets (18-12) lost for only the fourth time in their past 16 Grapefruit League games.

Opening Day starter Bartolo Colon was charged with three runs on six hits and a walk in five-plus innings. The final run charged to Colon scored when newcomer Jerry Blevins, working for a second straight day, allowed a run-scoring single to lefty-hitting Matt Adams to give St. Louis a 3-0 lead in the sixth.

“I’m ready to go,” Colon said afterward through a team official.

Reynolds, expected to be ticketed for Triple-A Las Vegas to open the season regardless of Daniel Murphy’s availability, finished 2-for-2 with three RBIs off the bench. His two-run double in the seventh pulled the Mets within 5-2. Reynolds is hitting .400 (18-for-45) in Grapefruit League play.

Left-hander Alex Torres, making his Mets debut after being acquired from the San Diego Padres on Monday, tossed a perfect ninth with one strikeout.

“He’s got a good arm, good changeup,” manager Terry Collins said. “He’s not strictly a left-on-left guy. If you look at his numbers, he gets right-handed hitters out. He’s a guy who can give us an inning, an inning and a third, and really solidifies our bullpen.”

St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez blanked the Mets for six innings.

“He threw very good -- throwing hard and good offspeed pitches,” David Wright said. “When you’ve got a guy throwing upper-90s and he’s throwing just as many offspeed pitches as he is fastballs for strikes, it’s a real tough day. I mean, it showed. He kind of mowed through our lineup three times and we’ve been swinging the bats well. Very good stuff.”

What’s next: The Mets play their final game in the Sunshine State on Thursday at 12:05 p.m. Matt Harvey opposes right-hander Lance Lynn at 12:05 p.m. ET in Jupiter. The Mets then fly out for a pair of exhibition games against the Texas Rangers in Arlington.