NEW YORK – Pinch-hitter Nick Evans singled home the winning run off Chan Ho Park in the 10th inning to give the New York Mets a 1-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.
Evans, with three hits in 11 at-bats this season, drove in Ruben Tejada, a .188 hitter who had a one-out double. Jose Tabata fielded Evans' hit off Park (1-2) in shallow left, but his throw was off line and Tejada scored easily.
Hisanori Takahashi (9-6) pitched two innings to run his scoreless streak to 12 outings and 13 1-3 innings. He got help from a caught stealing in the ninth after a walk, and in the 10th, when Andrew McCutchen led off with a double but was thrown out at third trying to advance on a bunt.
The victory was the Mets' sixth in their last at-bat.
With the New York Jets playing their NFL season opener on Monday Night Football, the Yankees at Tampa Bay for first place in the AL East, Jay-Z and Eminem rhyming in the ballpark in the Bronx and the U.S. Open men's final taking place across the street from Citi Field, there was little interest in a rain-delayed matchup between anemic offenses.
In fact, the Mets posted a message on the scoreboard during the second inning inviting the sparse crowd that waited out a 43-minute delay at the start to fill the pricey seats behind the dugouts.
Those who did make it saw two young pitchers, the Mets' Dillon Gee and Pittsburgh's James McDonald, make promising starts.
Starting in place of injured Johan Santana last Tuesday, Gee took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals in his major league debut. He wasn't quiet that effective against the worst-hitting team in the National League. Using a deceptive changeup, the right-hander gave up five hits — two weak doubles just inside third-base line — and walked four, one intentionally. He put runners on base in five innings and loaded them in the fourth.
Gee was pulled after 106 pitches.
While Mets manager Jerry Manuel said that September tryouts are not necessarily a good indicator of big league success, Gee thus far has earned himself a more serious look next spring — especially with Santana having shoulder surgery Tuesday that likely will keep him out for the start of next season.
In two starts Gee has given up one run and seven hits in 13 innings.
McDonald was coming off seven innings of five-hit ball against Atlanta, beating Braves ace Tim Hudson to win for the first time in four starts. He went a career-high eight innings this time, scattering five hits and getting help from two caught stealings.
After Jose Reyes lined a single to start the first, McDonald caught him leaning toward second and Reyes was thrown out 1-3-6.
Angel Pagan was nabbed the traditional way, catcher Chris Snyder to shortstop Ronny Cedeno.
A group of Pedro Alvarez fans wearing yellow Pirates T-shirts with his name and number on the back stood and cheered the New Yorker with every at-bat. Alvarez, who went to a private high school in New York, was playing in his first big league game in the Big Apple.
Alvarez's parents brought the team chicken, rice and beans from a popular restaurant in Washington Heights, the heavily Dominican neighborhood in northern Manhattan where Alvarez grew up. He went 0 for 3 with a walk.
NOTES: The Pirates claimed RHP Chris Leroux off waivers from the Marlins and designated righty reliever Brian Bass for assignment. Leroux was added to the Pirates' 40-man roster. ... Mets LF Lucas Duda went 0 for 3 and has one hit in his first 32 big league at-bats. ... Pittsburgh left nine on base, the Mets five.