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By Chad Carlson
Photo Credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
After one of the more disappointing losses of the season last night, the Pirates were back in action this evening against the New York Mets at PNC Park.  As expected, this was a closely-played ballgame throughout, with the Pirates making the big plays down the stretch, earning a 3-2 victory and evening the four game series at a game a piece.
James McDonald took the hill for the Buccos, facing off against the Mets’ knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. 
McDonald wasn’t his best tonight, but did enough to keep the Pirates in the game.  James gave up two runs on eight hits while walking three and striking out two through his six innings of work.  The victory improved his record to 4-4 with a 4.80 ERA.  His on-mound opponent pitched a complete game, giving up three runs on eight hits.  The loss dropped Dickey to 3-7 for the season.
Fans From The Stands’ Chad Carlson and Zane Heiple made their predictions before the game:
The Mets took the lead in the first inning off a fielder’s choice groundout by Daniel Murphy, scoring Ruben Tejada.  The lead didn’t last long, though.  Garrett Jones hammered a double to the deepest part of the ballpark in the second inning, scoring Neil Walker, evening the game, 1-1.
Andrew McCutchen delivered what would eventually be the winning hit in the third inning.  Cutch’s two-run double drove Jose Tabata and Josh Harrison home, giving the Pirates a lead that they wouldn’t give up for the rest of the night.
The Mets did inch closer in the fifth inning on Carlos Beltran’s RBI single to right centerfield, scoring Jose Reyes.  But that would be the last the Mets would threaten, and the Pirates took home the victory.
The bullpen did a fantastic job tonight.  Tim Wood, Tony Watson, and Jose Veras collectively pitched two innings of shutout baseball, setting the stage for Joel Hanrahan.  The Buccos’ closer set the Mets down in order in the ninth inning, securing his 16th save of the season, much to the delight of the standing-room only crowd at PNC Park.
The Pirates once again rebounded from a tough loss to earn a very important victory.  Their starter, while not pitching his best, worked his way through six innings without surrendering an insurmountable number of runs, and the bullpen shut the door on any potential threat. 
Collectively, the offense did a nice job tonight.  Tabata, Harrison, and Jones each had two hits, while Cutch and Brandon Wood added a knock a piece.  Neil Walker was held hitless once again tonight, dropping his batting average to .255.
Check out the post-game show from PNC Park:
The Pirates are once again close to zoning in on the .500 mark.  Sitting at 31-32, the Buccos will take on the Mets tomorrow afternoon at 1:35pm.  Kevin Correia will make the start for Pittsburgh, looking to win his ninth game of the season.
Record Vs. Mets: 3-3
Record Vs. N.L. East: 7-11
Record At Home: 14-17
Overall Record: 31-32
And…
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!