NEW YORK _ Paul DeJong had the first multihomer game of his big league career, Luke Weaver held the Mets to one run in five innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat New York 5-1 on Sunday to avoid an opening three-game sweep.
DeJong sent a fastball off the facing of the left-field second deck in the second inning, making him 3 for 3 with a pair of homers in his career against Steven Matz (0-1. DeJong hit his second solo homer in the eighth against Jacob Rhame.
DeJong hit .285 with 25 home runs and 65 RBIs as a rookie last year, earning a $26 million, six-year contract.
Marcell Ozuna broke out of an 0-for-9 start with three hits, including an RBI double in the third and a run-scoring single in the fifth. Yadier Molina hit a leadoff homer in the fourth for the Cardinals, outscored 15-6 in the first two games.
Weaver (1-0) last summer became the first Cardinals rookie to win seven straight starts since Ted Wilks in 1944. A rare starting pitcher with a single-digit uniform number (7), he struggled through a 27-pitch first inning in his first outing against the Mets and gave up Amed Rosario’s tying single in the second. The 24-year-old right-hander settled in and wound up allowing five hits, four of them singles.
After solid starts by Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, Matz tried to put behind an injury-decimated sophomore season in which the lefty slumped to a 2-7 record. He struggled with his control and was up to 51 pitches after two innings and 73 after three. He lasted five innings, giving up three runs and four hits.
New York has not opened 3-0 since 2012. The Mets kept up their terrible trend of last year, when they were 16-36 in series finales.
Cardinals leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts before walking in the eighth inning and has started the season 0 for 13 with six Ks.
Nine of the Cardinals’ first 10 pitchers this year allowed their first batter of the season to reach (Bud Norris was the exception) before Weaver retired Asdrubal Cabrera on a flyout.
St. Louis obtained OF Johan Mieses from the Los Angeles Dodgers for INF Breyvic Valera, who had been designated for assignment. The 22-year-old Mieses hit .215 with 24 homers and 63 RBIs last year for Class A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa.He will be assigned to Class A Palm Beach.
New York will wear a patch on the right sleeves of its jerseys for the rest of the season in honor of former Mets star Rusty Staub, who died Thursday. Sunday would have been his 74th birthday.
Mets: CF Brandon Nimmo was scratched after being up most of the night with flu-like symptoms. … RHP Anthony Swarzak was to be evaluated after leaving Saturday’s game with a sore left oblique. … LHP Jason Vargas (broken right hand) threw a bullpen Saturday and is to throw a simulated game Monday.
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas makes his first big league appearance since Aug. 25, 2014, when he starts Monday at Milwaukee. He spent the past three seasons with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan’s Central League.
Mets: RHP Matt Harvey, coming off a 5-7 season, makes his 2018 debut Monday against visiting Philadelphia and Ben Lively.
By RONALD BLUM
AP Baseball Writer
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