Menu

Baseball

McCutchen pushes Pirates past Mets

Andrew McCutchen delivered a game-tying home run in the sixth, then knocked in the go-ahead score an inning later to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates over the New York Mets, 4-2, on Saturday.

Pittsburgh has taken the first two tilts of this three-game set, both by breaking through against New York's bullpen.

Greg Burke (0-2) issued a pair of singles in the seventh before McCutchen's base hit broke a 2-2 tie. Russell Martin later drew a walk with the bases loaded to cap the frame.

Three Pirate relievers combined for 3 1/3 innings of one-hit ball, with Justin Wilson (6-1) picking up the victory after taking over for starter A.J. Burnett, who struck out eight and gave up two runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 frames.

"You never want to come out of a game, but you feel pretty good with these guys coming in behind you," said Burnett about the bullpen.

Marlon Byrd scored on Kirk Nieuwenhuis's double and knocked in a run to account for New York's only offense.

Carlos Torres took the mound for Matt Harvey, who was skipped with looming speculation he will start Tuesday's All-Star game, but also in an effort to curtail his amount of innings and ease an apparent blister issue on his hand.

Torres carried his effectiveness from the bullpen into the spot start, his first in nearly three years, and tossed five innings of one-run ball while striking out five. He has a 0.79 ERA over 11 appearances this season.

Byrd drew a one-out walk in the fourth, sprinted around the base pads when Nieuwenhuis smacked a double into the gap in right center and beat the relay throw home to give New York a 1-0 lead.

He then legged out an infield single with two away in the fifth to make it 2-0 and salvage an inning which saw Eric Young Jr. get thrown out at the plate and Ike Davis strike out swinging with runners on second and third.

Torres allowed only one hit through his first four innings of work, but served up three in a row to start the fifth, including an RBI single from Jordy Mercer, who had the game-winning hit in Friday's 3-2 extra-inning victory.

An inning-ending double play from Jose Tabata would quell an opportunity with the bases loaded for Pittsburgh, but McCutchen knocked in a run in the sixth and seventh innings to give his team the lead.

With Torres out and David Aardsma on the hill, McCutchen planted a pitch into the seats in straight away center to even the score at 2-2. Then, while facing Burke the following frame, he ripped a two-out single past the diving reach of David Wright at third to stake the Pirates to a one-run lead.

"Tool for tool, maybe the best player in the league," said Mets manager Terry Collins about McCutchen. "He plays the game the right way, he plays hard...I always tell people he's one of the guys I'd pay to see."

Josh Edgin entered from the bullpen afterward and proceeded to walk the next two batters, forcing in a run and making it 4-2 Pittsburgh.

Gonzalez Germen took over on the hill and got Gaby Sanchez to pop out in foul territory to end the inning, but New York never had another base runner, with Jason Grilli notching his 29th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Game Notes

The Pirates are one win shy from tying their franchise mark set in 1971 for most wins (57) before the All-Star break .. Torres' last start was on Aug. 3, 2010 while with Chicago White Sox ... New York's David Wright went 0-for-5, ending his 12-game hit streak ... Pittsburgh's scheduled starter in Sunday's series finale, Jeff Locke, was scratched due to back tightness. Instead, Gerrit Cole will take the mound for the Pirates opposite Dillon Gee.