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Mets fall to Cardinals, 6-5

For the third straight game, the Mets were able to score at least five runs. When the offense comes alive and scores at least four runs, the Mets had won nine of 10 games entering play on Monday. However, that wasn’t the case in their 6-5 loss to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

The top of the second inning had potential to be a big one for the Mets. Pete Alonso doubled, Kevin Pillar got to second base on a throw after singling to center field and Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright intentionally walked Jonathan Villar. A hit-by-pitch and a walk put the Mets ahead for the first time, 2-1.

With two outs, Francisco Lindor stepped into the batter’s box. Lindor struck out swinging and left the bases loaded. With runners in scoring position, Lindor has a career batting average (2015-2020) of .253. So far this season, he is batting .063 with RISP.

Manager Luis Rojas hasn’t spoken about moving Lindor out of the two-hole in the batting order, where he’s spent 21 games, though after striking out twice in Monday’s loss it’s clear that he hasn’t thrived so far in that spot.

Lindor is hitless in his last 24 plate appearances. If this stretch came from a different player who didn’t have Lindor’s status or contract, it is reasonable to wonder how his playing time would be affected.

“I think his presence, what he brings to the ballpark every day, all the guys energize from it, guys have gotten better because of him,” said Rojas. “You know, this guy’s not starting only because of his bat, he’s just starting because of all the other things that he does. Do we think his bat is going to come along? Yeah, I think his bat is gonna come along. I feel we’re almost landing hypothetical. Like, we’re modeling Francisco here.”

The 0-for-21 hitless streak is the second-longest of his career — the longest was in 2016 with the Indians when he endured an 0-for-27 stretch.