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Cardinals helped by baserunning mistake, beat Mets

Associated Press Modified: September 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm •  Published: September 3, 2012

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals took another step toward a playoff spot, thanks to a misstep by the New York Mets.

Andres Torres lost an apparent leadoff double in the ninth inning when he was called out for missing first base, and the Cardinals held off the Mets 5-4 Monday.

"I've never seen it called. Not in the big leagues like that," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Cardinals closer Jason Motte tied a career high by getting a five-out save. The wild card-contending Cardinals' position improved when first base umpire Dave Rackley ruled Torres missed the bag and called him out on an appeal.

"He went over the front corner with his toe and it just kicked dirt up onto the base," Rackley said.

Rackley said he wouldn't make that call if he weren't sure.

"That's what I told Terry. I wouldn't make that up," Rackley said.

Crew chief Dale Scott said the umpires watched televised replays afterward and agreed the call was correct.

"It was exactly what (Rackley) described. His foot went over, the toes hit the ground, the heel never did," Scott said. "And did you see where (Rackley) was? He was right there to make the call."

Torres was standing on second after hitting a ball down the right-field line. Instead, he returned to the dugout.

"That's not happened in my career," Motte said. "It's one out and nobody one rather than no one out and a guy on second. They can bunt him over, they have a lot of options right there."

"It definitely changes that inning," he said.

Torres insisted he ran the bases right.

"I just touched the base with my heel," Torres said. "I never thought he was going to call me out, to be honest. What can I say? Nobody's perfect."

Collins came out to argue the play, to no avail.

"I get back to the bench, and I got 10 guys telling me he touched the bag," Collins said.

Cardinals star Carlos Beltran, who was on the bench, told manager Mike Matheny to make the appeal.

"We're saying our MVP is Carlos Beltran, who never hit the field," Matheny said.

Said Beltran: "I was in the cage and watching him running. He was looking at the ball and not the bag. I saw sand coming up around the bag area and told them let's try to throw to first."

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