The Pirates were held at bay by Mets starter R.A. Dickey through seven innings. James McDonald pitched well but exited trailing 1-0. The offense woke up in time to score five late runs in a 5-1 in New York.
The Pirates had a couple of early chances to score but failed both times. Jose Tabata started the game with a double and moved up on a grounder from Josh Harrison in his first Major League at bat. But Andrew McCutchen whiffed and Neil Walker grounded out to end the inning. In the third, a two out walk to Tabata was followed by Harrison’s first hit. But McCutchen struck out again to end the inning. Dickey then retired the Pirates in order in the next four innings.
The Mets also started the game with a lead off double. Angel Pagan moved from second to third on a fly ball to right from Justin Turner and scored on an infield grounder from Jason Bay. THe Mets would get no more against McDonald. He gave way after six to Evan Meek who tossed a perfect seventh.
In the eighth, Ronny Cedeno led off with a single. With two outs, Tabata was plunked. Harrison delivered a clutch two out single that scored Cedeno and tied the game. McCutchen walked. Walker singled in a pair of runs to make it 3-1. That ended the evening for Dickey. He was pulled for Jason Isringhausen who induced a fly ball from Lyle Overbay to end the inning.
Pittsburgh tacked on two more in the ninth. Ronny Cedeno reached on a one out error from Ruben Tejada. Dusty Brown – making his debut for the Pirates – singled. A walk to Tabata loaded the bases and Brandon Wood – in as a defensive replacement at third for Harrison – stroked a two run single.
McDonald allowed just one run on six hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out five and got a no decision. The win went to Evan Meek. Dickey had allowed just two hits through seven innings but took the loss. He went 7-2/3 and gave up three runs. He walked two and struck out ten. Joel Hanrahan pitched a perfect ninth in a non-save situation.
Welcom Josh Harrison and Dusty Brown.
Another nice effort from McDonald dropped his ERA to less than 5.00.
Meek, Jose Veras and Hanrahan combined for three perfect innings.
The Pirates struck out eleven times.
McDonald’s ERA in his last seven starts is 2.43. He allowed more than two earned runs just once in that stretch. He evened his career mark at 1-1 against the Mets.
Knuckleballer Robert Alan Dickey is now 1-1 against Pittsburgh.
Pirates of recent vintage to get two hits in their Major League debut:
Erik Kratz – 7/17/10
Jose Tabata – 6/9/10
Brad Lincoln – 6/9/10
Andrew McCutchen – 6/4/09
Steve Pearce – 9/1/07
Andy Barkett – 5/28/01
Alex Hernandez – 9/1/00
Pirate hitters have the third most strikeouts of any National League team. The Pirates are 12th in the league in runs per game.