Kuhl started shaky with a two run first inning, but managed to fire three scoreless frames afterwards. He was pulled after just four innings with what the club described as right forearm tightness.
Kuhl finished with three hits and two walks allowed and struck out four.
Richard Rodriguez pitched two scoreless innings and Gregory Polanco hit a two out home run in the seventh to give the Pirates their first lead of the game: 3-2.
Outside of that home run and fifth inning RBI singles by Jose Osuna and Polanco, Mets’ starter Steven Matz dominated in his seven innings of work, striking out seven with no walks allowed.
Edgar Santana quickly surrendered that newfound lead in the seventh, allowing a two out home run to Michael Conforto to tie the game at three.
While the Pirates did load the bases in the eighth, they were unable to cross the plate again. Steven Brault (5-2) took the loss in his second inning of work after Wilmer Flores’ ground ball single plated Conforto in the tenth.
Tim Peterson won his first career decision by pitching a scoreless 10th. The Mets snapped a seven game losing streak, while the Pirates (37-42) have now lost six of their last seven.
The Pirates and Mets will play the rubber match of their three game set Wednesday at 7:10 p.m.. Ivan Nova (4-5, 3.98) will oppose Mets’ starter Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.85).
1. Polanco is slashing .279/.389/.581 since the coaching staff moved him further away from the plate on June 6.
2. Elias Diaz made two error in the game, giving him six on the season. That is tied for the most among catchers in baseball.
3. This was the sixth time Rodriguez went at least two innings in relief. Five of those outings were scoreless (0.64 ERA, 1 R in 14 IP).