PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores’ bloop single with the bases loaded in the 10th inning drove in the go-ahead run for the New York Mets in a 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.
Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker opened the 10th with consecutive singles off Cory Luebke (0-1), and James Loney sacrificed. Asdrubal Cabrera was intentionally walked, and Flores hit a flare into center field.
Anthony Conforto’s two-run homer, an eighth-inning drive off Jared Hughes, tied the score 5-5. The Mets won for the just the fourth time in 11 games and stopped a nine-game losing streak to the Pirates that dated to 2014.
Addison Reed (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings, and Jeurys Familia pitching a shaky ninth to convert his 35th straight save chance, including 19 this season. He walked three batters around Sean Rodriguez’s double-play grounder, then threw a called third strike past David Freese to end the game with runners at the corners.
Cespedes had three hits, and Conforto drove in three runs.
Mets rookie infielder Ty Kelly hit his first career home run. The two-run drive tied the score 2-2 in the fourth against Jameson Taillon, who made his major league debut.
Taillon, a well-regarded 24-year-old right-hander, gave up three runs and six hits in six innings with three strikeouts and two walks. Pittsbugh lost for the eighth time in 12 games despite sweeping the Mets in a doubleheader Monday.
Taillon was the second overall pick in the 2010 amateur draft, chosen after Washington’s Bryce Harper and just before Baltimore’s Manny Machado. Taillon sat out the last two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery and a sport hernia.
Mets starter Noah Syndergaard allowed three runs – two earned – seven hits in six innings and matched his career high with five walks.
Pittsburgh’s Gregory Polanco hit three doubles, including one that drove in a run during a two-run first. Polanco’s third double came in a two-run seventh that briefly put the Pirates ahead 5-3 – one run scored on a throwing error by Walker, the second baseman, and the other on Josh Harrison’s sacrifice fly.
Mets: OF Juan Lagares (partially torn left thumb ligament) did not play for a fourth consecutive game but manager Terry Collins said he is gaining strength in his hand.
Pirates: LF Starling Marte (bruised left ankle) did not start for a second game in a row after being removed from the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader. He pinch hit in the eighth and lined out.
Plate umpire Alan Porter ejected the Pirates’ Matt Joyce for arguing a called third strike that ended the seventh inning. He warned both benches in the eighth after Hughes threw a pitch behind Cespedes’ back after Conforto’s home run.
METS BRING BACK JOHNSON
The Mets acquired utilityman Kelly Johnson from the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday in a trade for minor league right-hander Akeel Morris, and Johnson is expected to join the team Friday night in Milwaukee. As part of the deal, the Braves will pay the Mets $450,000 on Aug. 1 to cover part of the $1,267,760 remaining of Johnson’s $2 million salary. The Mets also acquired Johnson from the Braves last season on July 24 and he helped them win their first NL pennant since 2000.
MORE TIME FOR DE AZA
Mets outfielder Alejandro De Aza made just sixth start of the season and went 0 for 3 with a walk while playing right field as Curtis Granderson was rested. Collins said he is going to trying to find more playing time by De Aza, who signed a $5.75 million, one-year contract as a free agent in December before the Mets unexpectedly re-signed Cespedes.
“He’s a good major league player who is in a tough situation as the fifth outfielder,” Collins said.
PARTCH SENT DOWN
The Pirates optioned right-handed reliever Curtis Partch to Indianapolis to open a roster spot for Taillon. Partch was recalled from the same club Saturday but did not appear in a game.
Pirates: LHP Jeff Locke (5-3, 4.28 ERA), who has won four straight starts, is scheduled to face Colorado RHP Chad Bettis (4-5, 5.58) on Thursday as Pittsburgh takes a one-day trip to Denver in the middle of a nine-game homestand to make up a game postponed April 28.
Mets: RHP Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.27) is scheduled to start against Brewers RHP Jimmy Nelson (5-4, 3.43) on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Milwaukee.
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