The Mets opened up their series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night at PNC Park after splitting two games with the Oakland A’s. Daisuke Matsuzaka got the start for the Mets and faced former Phillie Vance Worley. Juan Lagares returned back to the lineup after an extended stint on the Disabled List.
Lucas Duda went deep for the Mets for the second straight game, though it was not enough to match the Pirates on this night, as Pittsburgh came away with a 5-2 win.
In the second, the Mets nearly grabbed the early lead after Bobby Abreu and Lagares singled. Ruben Tejada lined a single of his own to left, and Tim Teufel sent Abreu home. Unfortunately for the Mets, Josh Harrison made a perfect throw from left field to gun down Abreu to end the frame.
Pittsburgh got the leadoff man on without a hit in the first two innings with nothing to show for it. But in the third, a leadoff walk came back to bite the Mets. Jordy Mercer started the third with a walk, moved to second on Worley’s sacrifice bunt and got to third on a wild pitch. Rookie Gregory Polanco drove in Mercer with a ground out to second base for a 1-0 Pirate lead.
The lead did not last long, though, as Lucas Duda went opposite field for a solo home run that was just fair inside the foul pole. The Mets continued to hit Worley hard in the inning, but didn’t add any more runs.
With Andrew McCutchen on first and Ike Davis at first, the Pirates pulled off some base running magic to take the lead. Davis broke for second early, and Daisuke turned his attention directly to him. The Mets worked on getting Davis out, but McCutchen scored while the Mets were preoccupied with Ike.
Already up by a run, Pittsburgh added to its lead in the fifth. Polanco came through again, this time with a three-run bomb into the right field seats in the bleachers. It was his second home run of his young career. Again, part of the problem was that Matsuzaka let the leadoff man get on for the fifth inning in a row. McCutchen nearly added to the lead with a shot to right, but Abreu had enough room to corral the catch and end the inning.
Worley got the best of the Mets through seven, but was relieved by Tony Watson in the eighth. With back-to-back doubles from Murphy and David Wright, the Amazin’s made it a 5-2 game. Wright’s double extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Watson recovered, however, and the Mets could not add another run in the inning.
The bullpen did its job for New York, but it was not enough. Polanco’s bat was too much for the Mets, and Pittsburgh came away with a win in the first game of the series.