PITTSBURGH -- Andrew McCutchen got both mad and even.
The Pittsburgh Pirates' All-Star center fielder was upset that New York Mets reliever David Aardsma threw a pitch high and tight in the sixth inning. McCutchen responded by sending the next pitch over the center-field fence to tie the score.
McCutchen then singled in the go-ahead run an inning later as the Pirates rallied for a 4-2 victory on Saturday night at PNC Park. The Pirates won their third straight to pull into a tie for first place with St. Louis in the National League Central.
"I was just ready to hit," McCutchen said. "Come up and in, just like bear down and be ready to hit and that's what happened."
McCutchen pumped a fist as he rounded first base after the home run, his 10th of the season, tied the score at 2.
However, the Pirates said the win was not necessarily that much more emotional than others.
"We continue to do enough things and meet the demands of the game that we need to meet to find ways to win," manager Clint Hurdle said. "That's our focus."
Pittsburgh scored twice more in the seventh off three New York relievers to go ahead, with both runs being charged to Greg Burke (0-2).
Pinch-hitter Travis Snider lined a one-out single off first baseman Ike Davis' glove and Jose Tabata singled with two outs.
McCutchen then singled off the glove of diving third baseman David Wright and the ball trickled into left-center field, allowing Snider to score from second.
"You've got to get in a situation where McCutchen can't hurt you," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We got a ball up to him and he did what he does. He did some damage."
Josh Edgin relieved and issued consecutive walks to Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin to force in another run.
Justin Wilson (6-1) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. Mark Melancon worked a perfect eighth and Jason Grilli pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his NL-leading 29th save in 30 opportunities.
"I even think from an offensive standpoint, when our bullpen comes in, they have a settling effect," Hurdle said. "Our at-bats get less complicated or there's not as much adrenaline going. We're in a good place. When our bullpen is in the game we're usually in a good place."
Besides McCutchen, Clint Barmes also had two hits for Pittsburgh.
New York's Eric Young Jr. and Marlon Byrd had two hits each. Wright's 12-game hitting streak ended; he went 0-for-5 as the Mets lost their second straight game after a four-game winning streak.
The Mets' Carlos Torres, moving from the bullpen to sub for Matt Harvey (blister on right index finger), pitched five innings in his first major-league start since Aug. 3, 2010, with the Chicago White Sox. Torres yielded only one run and five hits while striking out five and walking none.
Collins said Torres will stay in the rotation, taking the place of Shaun Marcum, who is out for the season with thoracic outlet syndrome.
"I'm very happy with we got out of Carlos," Collins said. "He threw the ball great for as long as he could go. He started to lose command of it in the fifth, but he did an outstanding job. He's going to be a good addition to our rotation."
Pirates starter A.J. Burnett allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, with four walks and eight strikeouts.
New York took a 2-0 lead against Burnett as Kirk Nieuwenhuis drove in the game's first run with a fourth-inning double that one-hopped the fence in right center and Marlon Byrd hit an RBI infield single in the fifth.
Pittsburgh closed the gap to 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth when Jones led off with a double and scored on Jordy Mercer's single.
NOTES: Pittsburgh LHP Jeff Locke has been scratched from his scheduled start Sunday because of lower back stiffness. RHP Gerrit Cole (4-2, 3.68) will take his place against New York RHP Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.60) in the finale of the three-game series. Locke also will not pitch in the All-Star Game on Tuesday at New York. ... McCutchen was in the lineup after being spiked in his left hand while stealing second base in the 11th inning on Friday night. He scored the winning run in that game. ... New York activated RHP Scott Atchison from the disabled list and optioned OF Jordany Valdespin to Triple-A Las Vegas. The Mets wanted an extra pitcher after using their bullpen for eight innings in two games. ... RHP Jeremy Hefner will start against Atlanta on Friday in the Mets' first game after the All-Star break. He will be followed in the rotation by Gee, RHP Zack Wheeler, Harvey and Torres. ... The Pirates will start LHP Francisco Liriano at Cincinnati on Friday in their first game out of the break, and he will be followed by Burnett, Locke, RHP Charlie Morton and Cole. ... Mets RHP Jenrry Mejia, who has been on the disabled list all season with an inflamed right elbow tendon, had his rehab assignment transferred to Double-A Binghamton from the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Mets.