Homers lift Bucs to victory over Mets
Josh Bell hit a two-run homer, Gregory Polanco also went deep and the Pittsburgh Pirates took advantage of some dreadful defense by the New York Mets to snap a five-game losing streak with a 6-4 victory Monday night.
In a series opener between tumbling teams, Pittsburgh built a five-run lead and held on to hand the Mets their seventh straight defeat before a mostly quiet crowd of 22,135. New York is 6-24 in its last 30 games — and that 11-1 start to the season feels like ancient history.
Playing at home has hardly helped. The reeling Mets (31-45) have lost 14 of 15 at Citi Field, falling to 13-25 in their own ballpark this season.
Jameson Taillon (5-6) took a two-hit shutout into the seventh inning against a makeshift Mets lineup before New York tried to rally. Consecutive doubles by Jose Reyes and Kevin Plawecki chased Taillon, and a three-run homer by pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores off Tyler Glasnow trimmed Pittsburgh’s lead to 5-4.
Steven Brault entered and threw seven straight balls before recovering to strike out Jose Bautista on a pitch in the dirt. Brault then got Asdrubal Cabrera to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Cabrera also committed an earlier error at second base.
Kyle Crick pitched out of trouble in the eighth, and Elias Diaz provided an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth. Felipe Vazquez struck out the side for his 15th save in 19 attempts.
Two errors in the first three innings by rookie third baseman Luis Guillorme — touted as a slick fielder — led directly to a pair of unearned runs against Mets starter Seth Lugo (2-3). Josh Harrison hit a sacrifice fly in the first, Polanco had a solo homer in the second and Diaz delivered a two-out RBI single in the third.
It was only the second home run since May 12 for Polanco, who came off the bench the previous three days.
Bell sliced a two-run shot into the left-field corner in the sixth, his first homer since May 31 at St. Louis. Bell has reached base safely in 15 consecutive games. He has three homers in four career games at Citi Field.