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Mets cut down tying run, hold off Cardinals 3-2

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 23:20 Published in Sports
NEW YORK (AP) -- Lucas Duda hit a long home run and the New York Mets threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the ninth inning to hold off the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 Wednesday night with a stiff wind whipping through Citi Field.
 
Jonathon Niese earned his first win of the season, and shortstop Ruben Tejada cut down Matt Carpenter for the second out of the ninth on a strong relay from center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
 
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny challenged the call by plate umpire Marty Foster, which was upheld following a replay review of 1 minute, 20 seconds that showed catcher Travis d'Arnaud nicked Carpenter with a sweep tag near his armpit.
 
Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha (2-2) set career highs with 10 strikeouts and five walks in the shortest of his 14 regular-season starts in the majors. A bizarre outing if ever there was one - but it was that sort of night.
 
With a runner on second, Kyle Farnsworth retired Matt Holliday on a fly to right to end it.
 
Curtis Granderson snapped his career-worst hitless skid at 22 at-bats with a first-inning single, and the Mets got 6 2-3 effective innings from Niese (1-2) before turning it over to the bullpen.
 
Carlos Torres and Scott Rice escaped an eighth-inning jam before Farnsworth worked the ninth for his second save. He gave up consecutive singles and an RBI double to pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso that one-hopped the wall in left-center, but New York's defense saved Farnsworth.
 
Carpenter had four hits and Yadier Molina added three for the Cardinals, but Jhonny Peralta's hitless streak reached 21 at-bats. Peralta popped out with runners at second and third in the eighth before pinch-hitter Matt Adams flied out to end the inning.
 
Niese improved to 4-1 in six career starts against St. Louis.
 
The game began in 31 mph wind gusting up to 41 mph on a 51-degree night at a mostly empty stadium. Workers hustled between innings to clean up all the flying napkins and hot dog wrappers that littered the outfield - even bundled-up second base umpire Rob Drake helped out during a stoppage in play.
 
High popups and flyballs were an adventure. Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada dropped one after retreating into the outfield, then scampering back to the infield. New York still got an easy forceout on the play.
 
Wacha's red cap blew right off his head as he was waiting for a new ball and rolled, like tumbleweed, to second baseman Mark Ellis.
 
Duda homered against Seth Maness leading off the sixth, a laser beam of a line drive that cut under the wind and nearly reached the Shea Bridge walkway above the bullpens in right-center.
 
It was the first home run for the Mets in their last seven home games, ending their longest such drought since May 2012.
 
Early on, it appeared the 22-year-old Wacha was headed to a record-setting performance.
 
Last year's NL championship series MVP overpowered the Mets with nine strikeouts in the first three innings but soon lost his control. He walked three in the fourth, including No. 8 batter Tejada and Nieuwenhuis with the bases loaded, forcing in two runs.
 
Wacha was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fifth after throwing 93 pitches. Coming in, he had issued only three free passes in 26 innings this season.
 
Molina doubled home a run with two outs in the first, extending his hitting streak to 14 games, after Tejada and the Mets botched a rundown that should have resulted in an inning-ending double play.
 
NOTES: Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright expects to make his next scheduled start Sunday against Pittsburgh, Matheny said. Wainwright left Tuesday night's game after seven shutout innings with a hyperextended right knee. "We're just real grateful because that looked like it was going to be pretty bad," Matheny said. ... Left-handed hitters were 0 for 13 with five strikeouts against Niese this season until Carpenter began the game with a single. Carpenter, the only lefty in the Cardinals' starting lineup, went 3 for 4 with a double against Niese. ... Wacha's first major league win was June 11 last year at Citi Field. ... Mets leadoff hitter Eric Young Jr. was rested.

Boeing offers buyouts to some St. Louis workers

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 09:05 Published in Local News

(ST. LOUIS, AP) — The Boeing Co. is offering buyouts to some of its nonunion employees in the St. Louis region.

The company on Tuesday sent an email to 12,000 workers announcing that voluntary buyouts would be offered, although only a part of those employees will be eligible. Those who are eligible will receive invitations by Friday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/1foTRTn) the eligible employees work in Missouri and Illinois.

The email says the buyouts are an effort to reduce costs in what the company called the “toughest business environment in a generation.”

Tuesday’s announcement doesn’t affect union employees.

Boeing would not say how many employees it hopes will take the buyouts. The company employs about 15,000 people in the St. Louis region.

PRO-RUSSIAN INSURGENTS HOLD US JOURNALIST CAPTIVE

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 09:02 Published in National News

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Pro-Russian gunmen in eastern Ukraine admitted on Wednesday that they are holding an American journalist, saying he was suspected of unspecified "bad activities."

Simon Ostrovsky, a journalist for Vice News, has not been seen since early Tuesday. He has been covering the crisis in Ukraine for weeks and was reporting about groups of masked gunmen seizing government buildings in one eastern Ukrainian city after another.

Pro-Russia insurgents who have been occupying police stations and other public buildings in eastern Ukraine for more than a week are defying the accords that Russia and Ukraine signed last week that urged all parties in Ukraine to lay down their arms and vacate the public offices.

Members of the nationalist Right Sector movement have also been occupying two buildings in the capital, Kiev, for months, but authorities have said the priority is to get the gunmen in eastern Ukraine to vacate the buildings they hold.

Stella Khorosheva, a spokeswoman for the pro-Russian insurgents in the eastern city of Slovyansk, confirmed Wednesday that Ostrovsky was being held at the local branch of the Ukrainian security service that they seized more than a week ago.

"He's with us. He's fine," Khorosheva told The Associated Press. When asked why Ostrovsky was held captive, Khorosheva said he is "suspected of bad activities," which she refused to explain. She says the insurgents are holding Ostrovsky pending their own investigation.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. authorities are "deeply concerned" about Ostrovsky's detention which she said violated the agreement between Russia and Ukraine reached last week.

"We condemn any such actions, and all recent hostage-takings in eastern Ukraine, which directly violate commitments made in the Geneva joint statement," she said. "We call on Russia to use its influence with these groups to secure the immediate and safe release of all hostages in eastern Ukraine."

Ukraine has been engulfed in its biggest political crisis since the fall of the Soviet Union. Months-long anti-government protests in the capital of Kiev culminated in President Viktor Yanukovych fleeing to Russia in late February.

The acting government has accused Russia of orchestrating the unrest in eastern Ukraine which it fears Moscow could use as a pretext for an invasion. Last month, Russia annexed Crimea weeks after seizing control of the peninsula.

On Tuesday, Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov ordered security forces to resume operations in the country's east after the bodies of two people allegedly abducted by pro-Russia insurgents were found. There were no reports of any such operations by midday Wednesday.

___

Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow and Matthew Lee in Washington, DC, contributed to this report.

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