After suffering a heartbreaking loss Monday afternoon, the New York Mets defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field Tuesday night by a final score of 4-2. Before the game the Mets announced that minor league hitting coordinator Lamar Johnson would take over as hitting coach from Dave Hudgens who was fired after Monday’s loss.
The newly recalled reliever Vic Black picked up the win for the Mets in his season debut while Jeanmar Gomez took the loss for the Pirates dropping to 0-2 on the season. Jenrry Mejia pitched the last two innings to earn his fourth save of the season. Mets centerfielder Juan Lagares was the star of the game, going 2-5 with two RBI’s, driving in shortstop Ruben Tejada both times, and made a spectacular catch to rob his Pirates counterpart Andrew McCutchen of an extra base hit to end the top of the first.
Pirate third baseman Josh Harrison lined out to center to start the game. Right fielder Jose Tabata then grounded out to shortstop for the second out. Andrew McCutchen the 2013 National League MVP, then crushed a pitch to the gap in right center. Juan Lagares raced back to the wall and made a leaping grab at the wall to retire the side. The Mets did not score in the bottom of the first, both teams failed to bring in a run in the second inning, and the Pirates were retired in the top of the third.
Leading off the bottom of the third, Juan Lagares lined a ball into the gap in right center. Andrew McCutchen raced to his left, dove and made the catch returning the favor to Lagares. Second baseman Daniel Murphy then doubled to left, and moved over to third on a sacrifice fly from third baseman David Wright. Left fielder Curtis Granderson followed with a walk. Right fielder Bobby Abreu then lined a single over the second baseman and into left field. Murphy scored easily to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. First baseman Lucas Duda then grounded out to first to end the inning.
In the top of the fourth Josh Harrison grounded out to short to lead off the inning. Jose Tabata then hit a screaming groundball to short. Ruben Tejada failed to grab the ball and was charged with an error on the play as Tabata reached first. Andrew McCutchen grounded into a fielder’s choice and Tabata was forced out at second. First baseman Gabby Sanchez followed with a single to right, moving McCutchen to third. Russell Martin then hit a pop-up in foul ground that Lucas Duda caught to retire the side.
Catcher Anthony Recker led off the bottom half of the fourth by flying out to right. Ruben Tejada then crushed a ball to deep center. Tejada landed safely at second with a double. Mets starter Jonathon Niese then struck out swinging. Pirates starter Edison Volquez uncorked a wild pitch allowing Tejada to take third. Juan Lagares then doubled off the wall in deep left scoring Tejada to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. Daniel Muprhy walked, and Volquez then threw another wild pitch and Lagares raced to third. David Wright then grounded out to shortstop to end the inning. Both teams failed to score in the fifth inning.
Josh Harrison started the top of the sixth with a walk. Jose Tabata then flied out to right, and Andrew McCutchen walked. Gabby Sanchez flied out to left, but Russell Martin walked to load the bases. Left fielder Starling Marte then singled up the middle scoring both Harrison and McCutchen to tie the game 2-2. Niese was pulled and in came flamethrower Vic Black to get out of the jam.
Eric Campbell entered the game replacing Lucas Duda at first base as part of a double switch. Second baseman Neil Walker walked to load the bases and infielder Ike Davis was called to pinch-hit for shortstop Clint Barnes against his former team. Davis struck out swinging to retire the side and limit the damage to just the two runs.
Jordy Mercer replaced Barnes at shortstop and Jeanmar Gomez entered in relief of Edison Volquez. Gomez immediately walked Ruben Tejada to lead off and threw a wild pitch allowing Tejada to take second base. Eric Campbell grounded out to first. Gomez then uncorked his second wild pitch of the inning advancing Tejada to third. Juan Lagares then lined a single to left easily scoring Tejada as the Mets retook the lead 3-2. Daniel Murphy lined a pitch down the right field line. The ball then rolled into foul ground and hit off the jutting stands in right field. Murphy took second and Lagares easily scored extending the lead to 4-2 New York.
Lefty reliever Justin Wilson entered to put out the fire for the Pirates. David Wright grounded to shortstop but Murphy moved to third. Curtis Granderson then struck out swinging to end the inning. The Pirates failed to score in the top of the seventh and the Mets went 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the inning.
Closer Jenrry Mejia entered the game in the top of the eighth replacing Vic Black. Chris Young came into the game in left after pinch-hitting for Black the last half inning and Curtis Granderson moved over to right replacing Bobby Abreu. Russell Martin struck out swinging to start the inning. Starling Marte walked and Neil Walker singled to right, moving Marte to third. Infielder Pedro Alvarez pinch-hit for Justin Wilson and grounded into a double play to retire the side. The Mets failed to tack on a run in the bottom of the eighth.
Mejia stayed on to pitch the ninth for the Mets. Outfielder Travis Snider pinch-hit for Jordy Mercer and bounced a pitch towards first. The ball hit Eric Campbell’s glove and Snider was safe at first. Campbell was charged with an error on the play. Josh Harrison lined out to left for the first out. Jose Tabata then smashed a ball slicing towards the right field foul line. Curtis Granderson caught the ball on the tip of his glove and held on as he crashed into the padded right field sidewall in foul ground. Andrew McCutchen was then walked to face noted Met killer Gabby Sanchez. Sanchez grounded a ball towards the hole between third and short. Ruben Tejada grabbed the ball and threw to third to get the force out, ending the game.
The two teams have a quick turnaround as veteran pitcher Bartolo Colon takes the mound for the Mets against veteran Charlie Morton for the Pirates tomorrow afternoon.
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