Power a-Bay-ance

Jason Bay set a career high for consecutive games without a homer on Thursday in Colorado. And the drought, which dates to last season with the Boston Red Sox, continued Friday at Busch Stadium.

Bay is now homerless in 21 straight games since going deep last Sept. 21 against Kansas City left-hander Lenny DiNardo.

More hurtful to the Mets than his longball total is the lack of RBIs. Bay has two as a Met despite occupying the cleanup spot in eight of 10 games.

Bay went 1-for-4 in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. He struck out in the eighth inning to leave two teammates in scoring position.

WRIGHT ON: David Wright’s eighth-inning double gave him 224 for is career -- one shy of matching Ed Kranepool’s franchise record. Wright also picked up his MLB-leading 14th walk and turned in a pair of sparkling fielding plays against Joe Mather. A second-inning dive toward the line and throw to Mike Jacobs at first base took away a potential run-scoring extra-base hit.

PERFECT TEN: Jeff Francoeur upped his hitting streak to 10 games, four shy of matching Wright’s franchise record to start a season, which was set last year. Francoeur ranks second in the National League in batting at .457. That average is the best of his career for a 10-game stretch to open a season, surpassing the .385 he hit in the first 10 games of his rookie season with the Atlanta Braves in 2005.

LO-BLOW: Felipe Lopez, who hit the game-deciding grand slam off Raul Valdes, had the lowest career batting average against the Mets of any active player with at least 150 plate appearances at .199. Austin Kearns ranked second at .212, followed by Dan Uggla at .219 and Jorge Posada and Cody Ross at .228. ESPN’s Stats and Information Department notes the only other Cardinals No. 1 hitter to hit a grand slam against the Mets was Bo Hart, on Aug. 2, 2003 off Jae Weong Seo.

IN CHECK: Albert Pujols went 0-for-4, including grounding into a first-inning double play after the first two runners reached. The Mets heaped praise on Oliver Perez for shutting him down.

“I’ve probably played against Albert 40 or 50 times now,” Francoeur said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him look confused like he did tonight. Ollie’s breaking pitch was so good. He had him on the high fastballs. His slider into those righties, they couldn’t lay off of it. And he kept going there.”

Said catcher Rod Barajas about Perez: “For anybody, you lose velocity on your fastball and you have to become more of a pitcher. You’re not going to get away with the mistakes that you did when you threw 5, 6, 7 mph harder. Locating pitches and executing pitches is what the game is about now. Today, I think, showed he has the capability of doing that.”