Mets' Gsellman prevails in major league debut

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[August 24, 2016]  ST. LOUIS -- Making an unexpected major league debut, Robert Gsellman picked up a win the New York Mets needed badly.

Gsellman, relieving injured starter Jonathon Niese with one out in the first inning Tuesday night, worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings as New York stopped the St. Louis Cardinals 7-4 at Busch Stadium in a matchup of National League wild-card hopefuls.

Gsellman allowed two hits and three walks while striking out two. Five more relievers followed after that, with Jeurys Familia pitching the ninth for his 42nd save as the Mets (63-62) drew within 3 1/2 games of St. Louis (66-58) for the NL's second wild-card spot.

Jaime Garcia (10-9) lasted only four innings for the Cardinals, allowing seven hits and six runs with a walk and six strikeouts as he lost for the first time in four starts. St. Louis remains 1 1/2 games ahead of Miami, a 1-0 loser to Kansas City, for the second wild card spot.

Randal Grichuk belted his 16th homer in the sixth inning for the Cardinals, who failed on plenty of chances to rally from their deficit. They stranded 11 runners, leaving two on base in the third, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth innings.

James Loney added ninth-inning insurance for New York with a two-out RBI single. It scored Jose Reyes, who went 3-for-4 with a walk and scored three runs.

Each team scored three runs in a 31-minute first inning. The Mets got all theirs with one swing of Wilmer Flores' bat, which produced his 13th homer of the year with Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera aboard.

St. Louis equalized off Niese, who lasted four batters before leaving with left knee pain, and Gsellman. Brandon Moss grounded an RBI single into right on Niese's last pitch before Yadier Molina welcomed Gsellman with a run-scoring double on his first big league pitch. Jhonny Peralta's RBI groundout tied it at 3.

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Cardinals left fielder Tommy Pham (28) is congratulated by catcher Yadier Molina (4) after scoring during the first inning against the New York Mets at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Reyes' run-producing single and Cabrera's rocket RBI double with two outs in the second put New York ahead 5-3.

Justin Ruggiano started the fourth with a tape-measure 447-foot homer that landed halfway up the bleachers in left-center, his second of the year. That made it 6-3.

NOTES: St. Louis RHP Lance Lynn (right elbow) will make his third rehab start Wednesday at Double-A Springfield. Lynn pitched twice last week at Single-A Palm Beach, but says it's still just a "slim" chance he makes it back this year. He underwent Tommy John surgery in November. ... New York placed LHP Steven Matz (left shoulder strain) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled RHP Robert Gsellman from Triple-A Las Vegas. ... The Mets placed 2B Neil Walker on the paternity list and recalled INF T.J. Rivera from Las Vegas.

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