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Posted 2:08 am, 11/06/2018

After bringing in Felipe Vazquez with his team trailing by two in the eighth inning [url= http://www.officialkings.co...sey]Tanner Pearson Jersey[/url] , Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was asked by bench coach Tom Prince whether the closer would stay in the game if his turn to bat came up in the ninth. ”At the time, I counted off and said this is what the lead will be and I still think he’s our best option to close,” Hurdle joked. ”We would be in a good spot if we can get Vazquez up to the plate.”

As it turned out, that’s exactly what happened.

David Freese hit a go-ahead, two-run single and Pittsburgh rallied for four runs in the ninth to beat the New York Mets 5-3 on Wednesday night.

Gregory Polanco had an RBI single and Josh Bell added a sacrifice fly as the Pirates, blanked by Zack Wheeler for seven innings, came back against a beleaguered New York bullpen to win for the second time in eight games. Pittsburgh took two of three against the Mets to win a road series for the first time since sweeping the Chicago White Sox from May 8-9.

”This one very easily could have gotten away from us,” Hurdle said. ”It could have been another series loss. They found a way to put a foot down and make something really positive happen.”

Elias Diaz got it started with a leadoff single on an 0-2 pitch from closer Jeurys Familia (3-4). Corey D***son also singled on 0-2, sending Diaz to third. Polanco drove in Diaz with a single for the Pirates’ third straight two-strike hit.

Familia, who threw 28 pitches in a scoreless outing Tuesday, was lifted after walking Jordy Mercer on four pitches to load the bases. It was the first time in his career that Familia took the mound and failed to get an out.

Freese punched Anthony Swarzak’s first pitch into right-center, giving Pittsburgh a 4-3 lead.

”I had a good approach and got a pitch that I thought I could get in the air and it fell in,” said Freese, who entered with Vazquez as part of a double switch in the eighth.

Bell’s sacrifice fly made it 5-3, and the Pirates completed their 17th comeback win of the season.

”It’s probably the toughest spot in our business with the game on the line,” said Swarzak, summoned with the bases loaded and nobody out. ”I didn’t execute on that first pitch and the team paid the price.”

Wilmer Flores homered and Asdrubal Cabrera had three hits for New York [url= http://www.officialblackhaw...mov-jersey] http://www.officialblackhaw...ersey[/url] , which has dropped eight of nine. Mets relievers have 21 losses, most in the majors.

One night after snapping a seven-game skid, the Mets (32-46) finished a 1-5 homestand by losing for the 15th time in their last 17 games at Citi Field. They have dropped 25 of 32 overall and gone 11 consecutive series without winning one.

The loss was New York’s sixth when leading after seven innings, tied for second-most in the majors.

Vazquez (3-2) threw two scoreless innings for the win. He also struck out on three pitches in his second major league at-bat, fouling off the first two offerings.

A dominant Wheeler scattered four hits over seven scoreless innings. He struck out seven and threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 26 batters he faced. But after his bullpen blew a 3-0 lead, the right-hander is 0-5 in 11 starts since his last win April 29 at San Diego.

”I saw really good pitching on the other side early,” Hurdle said. ”(Wheeler) kept pumping strikes.”

Pittsburgh broke through in the eighth against Robert Gsellman. Starling Marte led off with a pinch-hit double, stole his third base of the series and scored on Austin Meadows‘ sacrifice fly.

Bell singled to chase Gsellman, but rookie Tim Peterson got out of the inning.

Jose Bautista hit an RBI double in the third and scored on Cabrera’s single to put the Mets in front 2-0. Flores added a solo homer in the sixth off starter Ivan Nova.

Flores had seven RBIs in the series and has driven in a run in five straight games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (finger) threw a bullpen Tuesday and looked good, according to manager Mickey Callaway. Syndergaard threw all his pitches and will progress to facing hitters. … Callaway said outfielders Jay Bruce (hip) and Yoenis Cespedes (hip flexor) are both day to day with soreness and the team is waiting for that to subside before increasing their activity. Cespedes is expected to meet with the coaching staff during the upcoming trip to Miami. … OF Brandon Nimmo went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in his return to the top of the lineup. Nimmo came off the bench in the previous two games after getting hit by a pitch on the right pinkie Sunday.

Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli (concussion) was cleared to resume exercising and went through a 45-minute workout in Pittsburgh. … RHP Michael Feliz (shoulder) remains isn’t throwing yet but is expected to play catch in the coming days. … After being removed from Tuesday’s game with right forearm discomfort, RHP Chad Kuhl underwent a series of tests and an update is expected in the next day or two.

UP NEXT

Mets: Begin a three-game series at Miami on Friday. RHP Jacob deGrom (5-3, major league-low 1.69 ERA) pitches for New York, while the Marlins will call up highly regarded prospect Sandy Alcantara from Triple-A New Orleans to make his 2018 debut.

Pirates: Open a three-game series in San Diego on Friday. Struggling RHP Joe Musgrove (2-3, 4.59 ERA) draws the start in his hometown.

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Standing in foul territory, Steven Matz stared at the ball he had just mishandled and started to give it an angry kick, then changed his mind and instead just picked it up.

Matz and the New York Mets keep their cool Sunday, barely [url= http://www.officialblackhaw...ey]Brandon Saad Jersey[/url] , overcoming three errors and escaping the NL East cellar after a one-day stay by beating the Miami Marlins 5-2.

The Mets, who endured their worst June ever, won for only the second time in the past 12 games to reach the season’s halfway point at 33-48.

”We’re all disappointed with where we’re at,” Matz said. ”We had higher expectations. We’re just going to keep pushing.”

Matz (4-5) did that in the series finale, when he pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed only an unearned run. It scored on his error, and he worked around misplays by two teammates " an encouraging sign from a pitcher still learning not to let setbacks snowball.

”You still see him get a little flustered out there,” manager Mickey Callaway said. ”But he regroups and makes the next pitch. Today he won the game for us because he did that, because they easily could have tacked on some runs there early. He held them right where he needed to hold them.”

New York’s bullpen leads the majors in losses but limited Miami to one hit in the final 3 2/3 innings. Jeurys Familia completed the four-hitter with a perfect ninth for his 15th save.

Asdrubal Cabrera hit his 14th homer off Dan Straily (3-4). Todd Frazier had two hits and scored three times, and Kevin Plawecki doubled home New York’s first run.

Straily allowed three runs in seven innings, matching his longest outing of the year. Cameron Maybin hit his first homer for the Marlins, but they slipped back into last place in the division.

”We just didn’t do a whole lot with Matz,” manager Don Mattingly said. ”That’s probably the best I’ve seen him.”

Matz loaded the bases with two out in the second by walking Straily, an .056 career hitter, but then struck out Starlin Castro to escape.

Matz also reached behind his legs to snare Lewis Brinson’s grounder and retire him in the fourth. But the left-hander failed to come up with Straily’s safety squeeze bunt with two out in the inning, allowing Miguel Rojas to score from third.

”If I had taken my time I would have had him, but I rushed it,” Matz said.

MISCUES

Callaway talked before the game about how the Mets needed to play better defense [url= http://www.officialblackhaw...rsey]Brent Seabrook Jersey Kids[/url] , but they didn’t. Second baseman Cabrera and third baseman Frazier misplayed grounders for errors.

Miami misplays in the eighth led to the Mets’ final two runs. Center fielder Brinson failed to catch Frazier’s drive after a long sprint, and the play was ruled an RBI double.

”He probably should have caught that,” Mattingly said. ”I know they gave him a hit there, but if you ask him he gets to that ball and catches that pretty much all the time.”

Frazier then came home on a wild pickoff throw by catcher J.T. Realmuto.

UNEXPECTED CONTRIBUTION

Matz was 2 for 26 this year before he hit a two-out single in the fourth for his first RBI of the season.

”I was in a slump,” he said, ”but I’m out of it now.”

NIMMO SLUMP

The Mets’ Brandon Nimmo, hit by a pitch on his right hand a week ago, went 0 for 5 and is in a 1-for-19 slump.

”I’m super late. My bat speed is not there,” he said. ”But my hand feels fine.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: INF Dominic Smith, who had a cortisone shot for his sore right wrist, pinch-hit in the eighth and flied out. … OF Jay Bruce (hip) is expected to begin taking batting practice in the next few days.

UP NEXT

Mets: After an off day, RHP Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.47) is scheduled to start Tuesday at Toronto.

Marlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (2-5, 6.14) is scheduled to start Monday against Tampa Bay to begin a three-game series.

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