ST. LOUIS (AP) – While the St. Louis Cardinals prepare for the playoffs, September just gets worse and worse for the New York Mets.

Jeff Suppan won his 14th game and hit his first career home run in the Cardinals’ 4-2 win over the fading Mets on Saturday night.

Mike Piazza hoped to revive the Mets by returning to the lineup for the first time since he broke a bone in his left hand on Aug. 16. He homered in his first at-bat, putting New York ahead 1-0 in the second inning.

But in the eighth inning, the 12-time All-Star was beaned by reliever Julian Tavarez. Piazza fell to the ground, was laid out flat for several seconds, then sat up before walking off the field. Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said Piazza sustained a slight concussion.

New York went on to extend its longest losing streak of the season to six games. The Mets have lost 10 of 11, fading from contention in the wild-card race.

Suppan (14-10) allowed one run, six hits and four walks in 5 2-3 innings as St. Louis improved to a season-high 39 games over .500. He homered leading off the third, a drive to left off Steve Trachsel that came on Suppan’s 188th career at-bat.

Trachsel (1-2) made his third start since returning from back surgery in March and allowed four runs and four hits in five innings.

Jason Isringhausen pitched the ninth for his 36th save in 40 chances.

Jim Edmonds, who had been a 2-for-20 slide, put the Cardinals ahead in the second with his 26th homer, which followed a walk to Larry Walker.

After Suppan’s homer in the third, Albert Pujols doubled with two outs and scored on Walker’s single.

New York, which has lost the first three games of the four-game series, had runners in each of the first seven innings, loading the bases loaded in the fourth before Trachsel’s inning-ending flyout.

David Wright’s lineout stranded two more runners in the fifth, and Al Reyes got Jose Reyes on an inning-ending grounder with two on in the sixth.

Kaz Matsui led off the seventh with a double, but was stranded when Wright grounded into an inning-ending double play. Victor Diaz homered in the eighth.

Notes: David Eckstein was 0-for-3, ending a 14-game hitting streak. … Pujols needs one home run to reach 200. … Tony La Russa, who wears the number 10, tore that number off the sign indicating how many regular-season games remain at Busch Stadium.

AP-ES-09-10-05 2225EDT

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