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Worley, Polanco key 5-2 win as Bucs move back above .500

Justin K. Aller

Vance Worley pitched seven solid innings and Gregory Polanco hit a three-run homer as the Pirates beat the Mets Thursday, 5-2.

Jordy Mercer led off the bottom of the third with a walk, then moved up on a bunt by Worley (who seems to be far more capable with the bat than we're used to seeing from Pirates pitchers). Daisuke Matsuzaka then issued a wild pitch, and Mercer came home on Polanco's groundout.

The Mets tied the game on Lucas Duda's solo homer in the fourth, but Andrew McCutchen led off the bottom half of the inning with a double and moved up on a grounder. Ike Davis walked and got picked off, seemingly intentionally, and McCutchen darted home on the ensuing rundown.

Pedro Alvarez (who had three hits on the day) led off the Pirates' half of the fifth with a single. Mercer replaced him on a force out and Worley followed with a single, and then came home when Polanco took a glorious swing at a 3-2 breaking ball and sent it over the Clemente Wall. It was his first homer at PNC Park; may he have many, many more.

Worley struck out three and walked two in his seven innings, leaving with only one run allowed. He got a bit of a boost in the second when Josh Harrison gunned down a very slow Bobby Abreu at the plate to end the inning (and Russell Martin somehow avoided getting called for obstruction). It was yet another strong effort from Worley, who's been a huge help to the Pirates in the absences of Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano. Tony Watson allowed consecutive doubles to Daniel Murphy and David Wright in the eighth to give the Mets their second run. Mark Melancon picked up the save.

The Pirates moved to 40-39 with the victory.