By Chad Carlson
|Photo Credit: AP
For the second straight game, the Pittsburgh Pirates struggled mightily in the early innings, only to rally late to take another game from the New York Mets tonight. The Buccos scored five in the seventh and four in the eighth, turning a once low-scoring close contest into a blowout, beating the Mets at Citifield by a final score of 9-3.
The Pirates struggled early against the Mets’ starter Chris Capuano, who came into the game sporting a 3-5 record and a 4.94 ERA. Things were going very well for Capuano until the seventh inning, where some heads-up baseball from the Pirates and a little misfortune for the Mets turned into the game-changing sequence of events.
Andrew McCutchen led off the inning with an infield single, and Neil Walker followed that up with a bunt single of his own. Matt Diaz then hit a weak dribbler down the third base line that Capuano was unable to handle, loading the bases with no outs in the frame. Chris Snyder then hit an infield single, allowing Cutch to score.
Lyle Overbay smacked a liner to center field, which was misplayed by Angel Pagan, scoring from third base. Walker
Pedro Beato relieved Capuano, giving up an RBI single to Xavier Paul. After Jose Tabata tallied an RBI as he beat out a ground ball, Josh Harrison had another infield single, the Pirates’ fifth of the inning, scoring Overbay. When all was said and done, the Pirates scored five runs in the frame, all of which were charged to Capuano.
The Buccos added four more runs in the eighth inning on RBI singles from Overbay and Paul, and a pinch-hit sacrifice fly from Garrett Jones. The Pirates had the lead at that point, 9-2.
Kevin Correia had another solid start for the Pirates, giving up two runs on six hits through his six innings of work. He won his eighth game of the season, leading the N.L. in wins. This also marks the 13th straight game in which a Pirates’ starting pitcher has given up two runs or less. That is the longest streak for any Pirates’ club since 1968.
The bullpen did well as usual, with the only hiccup being a solo homerun being given up by Daniel McCutchen to Justin Turner in the eighth inning. Chris Resop, Daniel Moskos, and Jose Ascanio pitched scoreless baseball in their relief efforts.
Andrew McCutchen made the defensive play of the game, and perhaps the season, in the first inning, robbing
of extra bases, making a sliding catch from his back on the warning track. Jason Bay
After another relatively sluggish start, the offense woke up and tallied a total of 14 hits on the evening. Cutch led the way with three hits, further boosting his batting average to .256 for the year.
Walker, Diaz, and Overbay each had two-hit evenings; Harrison continued his success at the plate for the second straight night, adding another hit and an RBI to his stat-sheet.
With the victory tonight, the Pirates tallied their 17th road win of the year, matching the season-total from last year. The Buccos are now two games under .500 with the series-finale tomorrow afternoon against the Mets before returning home for a three-game weekend set against the Philadelphia Phillies. Paul Maholm will take the mound for the Pirates.
Record Vs. Mets: 2-1
Record Vs. N.L. East: 4-8
Record On The Road: 17-14
Overall Record: 26-28