James McDonald wasn’t always pretty. But he got the job done. The Mets scored only two runs against him, but they left a lot of men in on. The offense was able to push three runs across as the Pirates pulled within one game of .500.
The Mets got things going in the first. Jose Reyes singled and was gunned down trying to steal second by Wyatt Toregas. Ruben Tejada walked and Carlos Beltran singled, moving Tejada to third. A ground ball out from Daniel Murphy scored Tejada with the first run.
Pittsburgh got that run back in the second. Neil Walker drew a walk and Garrett Jones bopped a one out double that scored him. McDonald gave up a lead off walk to Mets starter R.A. Dickey in the third. He also gave up a single to Tejada, but he stranded them both. Pittsburgh pushed across their final two runs in the home half of the third. With two outs, Jose Tabata singled and Josh Harrison walked. Andrew McCutchen smoked one off the glove at Daniel Murphy at third that rolled into the outfield for a double. Both runners scored.
The Mets continued to battle. McDonald loaded the bases in the top of the fourth. But McDonald got Dickey to hit into an inning ending double play. Reyes singled to lead off the fifth. He moved to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a ground ball out from Tejada. Beltran singled him in, cutting the lead to 3-2. Murphy singled. But McDonald buckled down and retired Angel Pagan and Jason Bay to end the inning.
The Bucs were up 3-2 in the eighth. Tony Watson was on in relief and surrendered a one out walk to Pagan. He was pulled for Jose Veras. After Bay lined out to McCutchen, Lucas Duda doubled, putting runners at second and third. But Veras whiffed Ronny Paulino to end the inning.
Joel Hanrahan pitched ninth and needed just eleven pitches to nail down the save.
McDonald went six and gave up two runs on eight hits. He walked three and struck out two. Dickey allowed all three Pirate runs and went all eight innings. He gave up eight hits, walked two and struck out four. Hanrahan has 16 saves on the year.
Welcome back, Jason Bay!
Tabata, Harrison and Jones each had two hits. McCutchen kept his hitting streak alive with his double.
I’ll take that effort from McDonald.
Only three runs scored.
This was Bay’s first trip back to PNC since being traded to the Red Sox.
McDonald is 1-1 against the Mets. Dickey falls to 1-2 against the Pirates.
Tabata is hitting .347 in his last 19 games.
This was the first multi-hit game for Jones since 5/20/11.