Wong HRs for 2nd straight day; Cards beat Mets 6-4
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By JON SANTUCCI
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) Kolten Wong wouldn't mind playing the New York Mets every day.
Wong hit a two-run homer for the second straight day, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Mets 6-4 Wednesday.
"I'm just starting to feel a lot more comfortable at the plate," he said. "Timing is definitely coming to me a lot better. I'm just putting bat to ball and getting the results. I'm not a power guy, but I know I can run into a couple. That's definitely not my intention (to hit home runs), but if I do it, great. As long as I help the team win, that's all that matters."
Wong went 2 for 4 Wednesday and is 7 for 15 with two home runs and six RBIs in four games against the Mets this spring training. He is 0 for 9 with two walks in his other five exhibition games.
"He had a nice day," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He had some good plays defensively, too. He's finding his rhythm."
Wong was pressing after starting spring training 0 for 10, but a three-hit game against the Mets on March 7 helped him settle down.
"That was really big," Wong said. "That kind of allowed me to relax and start playing the game. Just telling myself to enjoy the game every day and have fun out there has really helped me a lot become more comfortable at the plate."
Cardinals outfield prospect Stephen Piscotty went 2 for 3 with a double, triple, RBI and two runs. Juan Lagares had a two-run single for the Mets.
Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez, competing to be in the club's rotation, allowed two hits in four scoreless innings and struck out three.
"He's had a nice spring," Matheny said. "He's throwing the ball very well/ His secondary pitches and, obviously, his fastball can be tough to handle. He's done what we think he can do. We think he has a very good approach to what he's trying to accomplish and he's had great execution."
John Lannan, a non-roster invitee competing to be New York's fifth starter, gave up two runs - both unearned - and three hits in four innings. He struck out five and walked none.
Mets manager Terry Collins said it's possible Lannan could make the team as a reliever.
"The possibility of it has been brought up to me, just in conversation," the pitcher said, "but right now I started today and I'm going to act as if I'm starting five days from now until I'm told otherwise."
It's just spring training, but Matheny was happy to stop a six-game winless skid.
"No question about it," Matheny said. "I was getting tired of not being able to shake hands at the end of the day."
Collins said first basemen Ike Davis (calf) and Lucas Duda (hamstring) will not be cleared to hit in a minor league game Thursday. Collins hopes they will be cleared by the weekend. ... Carlos Torres threw two scoreless innings for the Mets and has not allowed a run in six innings this spring training.
Updated March 12, 2014