PITTSBURGH — Josh Harrison was going to remember his MLB debut one way or another, but he sure made it as memorable as possible Tuesday night in New York.
Harrison sparked a three-run rally for the Pirates in the top of the eighth, driving in the first of three runs to help the Pirates grab the lead and win, 5-1. With two on and two outs he punched a single to right field that scored Ronny Cedeno, then advanced to second base to set up Neil Walker with men on second and third.
“I don’t think really any emotions came over me,” Harrison said. “My teammates were probably more excited for me. They were all giving me hugs and I was just giving them a hug back, but I was so caught up in the heat of the moment worried about running the bases that I didn’t really like, jump for joy.”
Walker fell down in the count quickly with no balls and two strikes to Mets starter R.A. Dickey but drove the next pitch he saw through the middle of the infield, scoring Jose Tabata and Harrison for a 3-1 lead.
“They did tonight what we need to do — get a two-out hit,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
The Mets (25-29) were unable to answer in their final two at bats, and Brandon Wood singled in the ninth to push the Pirates lead to 5-1. Joel Hanrahan finished off the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning to preserve the victory — the first ever for Pittsburgh at New York’s Citi Field.
The Pirates (25-28) fell behind, 1-0, in the first inning when Jason Bay hit an infield single to Pirates starter James McDonald. That’s all McDonald would surrender, allowing six hits in six innings and striking out five.
McDonald’s outing makes 12 straight games by Pirates starters of allowing two earned runs or less.
“Those guys have been setting the tone all year. If you would have said it was 35 games in a row I’d believe you,” Hanrahan said. “They’ve really stepped it up this year. All of ’em have been more aggressive throwing strikes and going deep into the game.”
Evan Meek and Jose Veras followed with a scoreless inning a piece. Meek earned the win, his first of the season.
Chris Gates | Bucs Blog