Tom Nieto drove in two runs, Tommy Herr hit a home run and John Tudor earned his sixth victory of the month last night to lead the Cardinals to a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets in St. Louis.

The Cardinals, 22-10 at home, remained a half-game behind first-place Montreal in the National League East. The third-place Mets fell 3 1/2 games behind.

Tudor (7-7) is 6-0 this month with a 1.34 earned run average. The left-hander, in beating the Mets for the second time this month, needed relief help from Ken Dayley, who pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to earn his sixth save.

"I hate to see June pass," Tudor said. "I don't expect to do the same in July. I'll just do the best I can."

Ed Lynch (4-5) was the loser.

St. Louis took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Andy Van Slyke and Ivan DeJesus singled and both runners advanced on Ozzie Smith's infield out. With two out, Nieto hit a two-run single to left field.

Herr's third home run of the year, in the third inning, put the Cardinals ahead, 3-0.

New York cut the lead to 3-1 in the seventh when George Foster, who had three hits, hit his 11th home run of the season. Mookie Wilson homered in the eighth inning to close the gap to 3-2.

Mets right fielder Darryl Strawberry was removed from the disabled list and reactivated prior to the game. Strawberry, who tore ligaments in his right thumb May 11, played right field and batted fifth, going zero for three. He was hitting .215 with six home runs and 12 RBI in 25 games before going on the disabled list.