Published September 26, 2012
| Sports Network
Flushing, NY – Ruben Tejada went 4-for-5 with two RBI and rookie Jeremy Hefner threw seven scoreless innings, as the New York Mets blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-0, in the third edition of a four-game series at Citi Field.
Hefner (3-7) allowed three hits and matched his career-best total for strikeouts in a game with seven -- along with posting four 1-2-3 innings.
For Hefner, it was a nice rebound from his last outing, when he allowed seven runs without recording an out in the first inning of an eventual 16-1 loss to the Phillies six days ago.
Andres Torres also had a nice night at the plate for New York, going 3-for-4 with a double, a stolen base and two runs scored.
Daniel Murphy, Scott Hairston and Kelly Shoppach each contributed an RBI for the Mets, who have won five of their last six.
David Wright, who scored a run, went 2-for-4 to give him 1,420 hits in his nine-year career, surpassing Ed Kranepool for most hits in Mets franchise history.
"From as long as I can remember, you work at this game, you love playing this game, but like I said, I'm lucky to be playing this game for a living," said Wright. "To be able to accomplish these individual feats, it means a lot. But I think I'll be able to sit back and enjoy it more when I'm done playing."
Jeff Locke (0-3), making his ninth career start, took the loss for Pittsburgh, throwing just 3 2/3 innings and allowing five runs on nine hits. Locke struck out five and walked one in the defeat, which officially eliminated the Pirates from playoff contention.
"It seems like the game really sped up on me -- you don't execute a few pitches and you walk a guy, and guys just go station to station," said Locke. "You've got to know when there are opportunities to put guys away, when you get ahead 0-1, 0-2, those have got to be outs. They're not always going to be, that's just the nature of the game, but you've got to do the best job you can do."
After managing only a single and a walk in the first two innings, the Mets' lineup got to work against Locke in the bottom of the third.
Tejada singled and stole second, then scored the game's first run when Murphy knocked a single of his own back up the middle to center field.
Wright followed by dribbling an infield single towards third, which allowed Murphy to come around and score on a throwing error by third baseman Pedro Alvarez. Wright then crossed home on a double by Scott Hairston, who later scored himself on a Shoppach single to make the score 4-0.
Tejada came through with an RBI single in the fourth, hitting a bullet back towards third that Alvarez could only manage to knock down with his glove.
Torres -- who had singled to lead off the inning, advanced to second on a Hefner sacrifice bunt and then stole third -- made it home on the play, putting the Mets up 5-0.
The only hint of a scoring threat to Hefner came in the top of the fifth, when Pittsburgh had runners on first and second with two outs. But the rookie struck out pinch-hitter Jeff Clement to end the inning and allowed only a single in his next two innings of work.
Tejada collected his second RBI of the game in the bottom of the sixth, hitting a one-out single to score Torres.
Reliever Jeurys Familia entered in the eighth for New York, pitching two scoreless innings.
Hefner made his 12th career start and faced the Pirates for the first time in his career ... Tejada extended his hitting streak to eight games after singling to right in his first at bat ... The game was Tejada's fourth four- hit outing of the season.