Saturday afternoon at Citi Field in New York was reminiscent of when the Bucs were known as “The Lumber Company” back in the 1970s as the Pittsburgh Pirates (20-16) blasted the Mets 11-2, taking the third of the four-game series.
Right fielder Jose Tabata went 4 for 5 with three runs batted in to lead the Pittsburgh hit parade.
Lefthander Francisco Liriano, who made his Pirates debut this afternoon, went 5 1/3 innings and picked up his first win, striking out nine and giving up six hits on 90 pitches. It had been 228 days since his last start in the major leagues due to a broken non-throwing arm.
In the second inning, Pittsburgh loaded the bases with one out against Met’s starter Jon Niese. Shortstop Clint Barmes slapped an RBI single past Mets third baseman David Wright.
Left fielder Starling Marte began the third with a single to left. Andrew McCutchen contributed an RBI single. Then, with two out, Tabata smashed a 405-foot, two-run home run.
Pittsburgh batted around in the fifth. Second baseman Jordy Mercer got it started with a solo home run. With two outs, catcher Michael McKenry slashed a two-run single, and Barmes had a one-run hit.
The Mets’ Wright scored in the bottom of the sixth on Marlon Byrd’s infield single to third baseman Brandon Inge. New York’s other score came in the bottom of the ninth when Andrew Brown led the inning off with a solo home run.
The Pirates pushed another run across the plate in the top of the seventh when Jose Tabata scored on Michael McKenry’s single to center field.
Jordy Mercer closed out the scoring barrage at the top of the eighth with his second home run to left-center field. The scoreboard read 11-1 at that point.
The four-game series with New York (14-19) wraps up on Sunday at 1:10 p.m., at Citi Field. Rookie righthander Matt Harvey (4-0, 1.28 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets while the Bucs plan to counter with righthander Jeanmar Gomez (2-0, 2.38 ERA). Next up, Pittsburgh will open a four-game set with the Brewers, at home, on Monday night.
From The Clipboard: Starling Marte now has 16 multi-hit games this season….Pittsburgh will follow up their upcoming four-game home series with Milwaukee with a three-game series against Houston, and then a three-game series with Chicago, all at PNC Park. Pittsburgh will play 18 of their 28 games at home, where they have gone 9-6 this season….Clint Hurdle’s crew are 15-0 so far this season when leading after six innings….Pittsburgh has homered in 12 of their last 13 games and 19 of 22….The Bucs’ 11 runs and 16 hits against the Mets on Saturday were both season highs.