Final Score: Pittsburgh 5, New York 3
Flushing, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Gaby Sanchez's clutch single in the ninth
drove in the go-ahead run and helped the Pittsburgh Pirates claim a 5-3
come-from-behind win against the New York Mets in the opener of a three-game
set at Citi Field.
Neil Walker lined a one-out single and Andrew McCutchen drew a walk to put two
on for Sanchez, who smacked a fastball off Jose Valverde (1-1) that plated
Walker. McCutchen came around to score after Curtis Granderson's throw home
was off target with Valverde failing to back-up catcher Juan Centeno. Russell
Martin followed with a double to center to make it 5-2.
"The mentality in the dugout is that this is the inning. You have to be
relentless," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.
Valverde entered in the eighth inning with a 2-1 lead and two outs to try and
secure a four-out save. Instead, he was tagged for four runs on four hits and
recorded just two outs.
The Mets released Valverde and relieved hitting coach Dave Hudgens of his
duties after the game. New York has lost nine of its last 12 games and has
not scored more than five runs in any of those setbacks.
"I'm not happy about it, it's not from lack of work or lack of preparation.
It's just that sometimes you make change from change," said Mets manager Terry
Tony Watson (5-0), who has made 13 straight scoreless appearances, pitched the
eighth for the Pirates, winners of five of their last six.
Mets starter Jacob deGrom was in line for the win before New York's recent
bullpen woes continued. DeGrom allowed just five hits in 6 2/3 scoreless
innings before handing the ball over to Jeurys Familia.
Familia froze McCutchen on a full-count slider with two on and two away in the
seventh to maintain the Mets' 2-0 lead.
Sanchez, who was pinch hitting for Ike Davis, homered to left field off Scott
Rice to open the eighth and cut the deficit to 2-1. Rice retired the next two
hitters before Starling Marte welcomed Valverde by smacking his first pitch
for a two-out double. Jose Tabata tied the game on a line-drive, pinch-hit
single to right.
Lucas Duda stroked the first pitch off reliever Mark Melancon in the ninth
inning over the right-field wall to account for the final 5-3 margin.
DeGrom singled to keep the fifth inning alive and Juan Lagares followed with a
walk. Daniel Murphy lined a base hit to right fielder Josh Harrison that
plated deGrom for the first run of the game. Harrison's throw to third was
wide and Lagares rushed home but was called out. The umpires reviewed the play
and it was overturned, giving the Mets a 2-0 advantage. Martin was called for
blocking the plate with his leg without the ball.
Pirates starter Brandon Cumpton allowed two runs -- one earned -- on seven
hits in six innings of work ... It was Melancon's 10th save of the year
... Pittsburgh went 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position, while New
York finished 1-for-8 with RISP ... Prior to the game, the Mets placed
outfielder Eric Young Jr. on the 15-day disabled list with a right
hamstring injury and recalled outfielder Matt den Dekker from Triple-A Las
Vegas ... To make room for Cumpton on the 25-man roster, Pittsburgh
designated pitcher Vin Mazzaro for assignment ... In his first time back to
Citi Field since being dealt last month, Davis, who finished 0-for-2 with a
walk, received a positive reaction from the New York crowd.
05/26 18:57:24 ET
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