Though the Cardinals haven't officially named Wacha their fifth starter, he distinguished himself in that rotation competition.
"I know today didn't really go how I wanted to, falling behind guys and stuff," Wacha said. "But I think the spring, overall, has been going pretty well. I've been throwing strikes. I just have to keep getting better."
Matt Carpenter reached base twice in three plate appearances for the Cardinals, in what was his second game swinging a bat since experiencing back tightness earlier this month. That lifted Carpenter's Grapefruit League batting average back up to .300.
The Cardinals came back to tie things on a two-run rally off Ben Rowen in the eighth, but Xorge Carrillo gave New York the lead for good with an RBI double in the ninth.
Mets Up Next:Jacob deGrom will look to continue his strong spring when the Mets return home for a 1:10 p.m. ET game Sunday against the Marlins, in a game available on MLB.TV. Also scheduled to pitch is Rafael Montero, who ranks second in the Grapefruit League with 17 strikeouts. Right-hander Jose Urena will start for Miami.
Cardinals Up Next: The Cardinals will travel to Orlando one final time this spring for a 12:05 p.m. CT start against the Braves on Sunday, in a game available on MLB.TV. Lance Lynn, who has allowed two earned runs over nine spring innings, will make the start.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.