Wilson Ramos’ two-run homer in the top of the eighth off Pirates’ reliever Kyle Crick game the Mets the lead as New York came from behind for a 7-5 victory Saturday night in PNC Park.
Starter Chris Archer enjoyed a quality start, allowing fewer than three runs for the first time in six games as he held the Mets to one run in his innings on five hits and two walks as he struck out six.
After the Mets scored once in the top of the first, the Pirates opened the bottom of the inning with four straight singles by Adam Frazier, Bryan Reynolds and Starling Marte. After Colin Moran lined out, Jose Osuna walked to force in the second run but further damage was prevented when the Mets got a force at home on Kevin Newman’s tapper to the mound.
The Pirates extended their lead to 3-1 in the fifth when Reynolds led off with a double, his their of four hits on the night, and after Josh Bell and Osuna walked to load the bases was forced in when Newman was hit by a pitch.
Archer departed after six and the Mets began to chip away. Jeff McNeil’s solo homer in the seventh off Michael Feliz, his 12th of the year, cut the Pirates lead to 3-2.
Crick took over in the eighth, as is his role, and was greeted with a double by Robinson Cano and Ramos’ homer that fell into the seats in right.
Down a run in the ninth, interim Pirates’ manager Tom Prince went to Chris Stratton, who had a 2.13 ERA over his last 25 1⁄3 innings. McNeil grounded a single into right, Amed Rosario beat out a grounder to short, and after a ground out and a strike out, Cano was intentionally walked to load the bases - but Ramos liner to the wall in right eluded the glove of right fielder Pedro Reyes, bouncing away for a base clearing double, Ramos’ fourth hit of the night, giving him six runs driven in.
Starling Marte slammed a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, his 20th of the year, but it was too little, too late.
Two hits by Frazier, four by Reynolds and three by Marte accounted for nine of the Pirates’ ten hits.
The loss puts the last place Pirates 3 1⁄2 games behind the fourth place Cincinnati Reds.
The deciding match of the three-games series with the Mets ill be at 1:35 p.m. on Sunday as right-hander Noah Syndergaard (7-5, 4.10) faces the Pirates’ Joe Musgrove (8-9, 4.23)