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Stars lead Pirates past Mets 4-1

New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

All-Star Adam Frazier delivered a two-run single and fellow luminary Bryan Reynolds smashed a solo homer as the Pittsburgh Pirates opened the second half of the 2021 season with a spirited 4-1 victory over the New York Mets Friday at PNC Park.

Frazier’s base hit in the second inning was the fourth of five singles in the inning off Mets starter and loser Marcus Stroman, and it came after a 39-minute rain delay.

Singles by John Nogowski, Wilmer Difo and Kevin Newman loaded the bases with one out and after the rain delay, Pirates starter – and winner – Chad Kuhl struck out.

Frazier then delivered a base hit to left, scoring Nogowski and Difo and giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead.

The Mets got a run back in the fourth on a fielder’s choice, Newman’s first error of the season and Jonathan Villar’s run-scoring fielder’s choice.

The Pirates added a single run in the sixth on Difo’s home run, and Reynolds’ solo homer in the seventh made it 4-1.

Kuhl wasn’t at his sharpest, as he walked five batters and gave up a pair of hits in five innings, but he limited the damage to one run.

Five relievers – Chasen Shreve, Chris Stratton, Austin Davis, David Bednar and Richard Rodriguez – combined to limit the Mets to a single hit and three walks to help nail down the win.

The Pirates outhit the Mets 11-3, with Reynolds, Difo and Jacob Stallings each collecting two hits.

The game also featured a benches-clearing incident in the bottom of the fifth. Nogowski lined out to first baseman Pete Alonso for the final out of the inning and after he and Stroman exchanged words, both benches and bullpens emptied, but no punches were thrown.