Mets rally late again with three in the seventh to beat Pirates, 3-1

The Mets managed just one hit through six innings before once again rallying late scoring three runs in the seventh inning to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-1, on Tuesday night at Citi Field.

New York is now 9-8 on the year and winners of nine of their last 12 games. Pittsburgh fell to 11-7.

Here are some takeaways...

- Francisco Lindor entered the night 4-for-47 from the left side of the plate and went down swinging on an off-speed pitch in the dirt in the first inning against Pirates righty Jared Jones. And that’s how things went through five innings for the Mets batters as Jones had a top-notch slider to compliment a 98 mph fastball that he was placing wherever he wanted.

Lindor was one of six strikeouts Jones tallied through three innings as he was pounding the strike zone, with 34 strikes on 41 pitches. Pittsburgh's 22-year-old would need just 18 pitches to record the next six outs, including getting Francisco Alvarez out swinging a second time.

The Pirates wanted to keep Jones to just five innings of work on the night. And despite him mowing down the Mets on just 59 pitches (50 strikes) with 15 whiffs on 40 swings (getting a whiff or called strike on 42 percent of pitches), and allowing just one hit and no walks with seven strikeouts, Jones was inexplicably lifted for Luis Ortiz after recording 15 outs.

- Pete Alonso, who muscled a double to left field when Bryan Reynolds failed to field a sinking liner that skipped under his glove in the second inning, grabbed the Mets’ second hit of the night rocketing a single (109.9 mph off the bat) with one out in the seventh off Ortiz to move Lindor, who walked, over to third base.

Joey Wendle, who entered the previous half-inning after Brett Baty exited with left hamstring tightness, then served a double down the line in left to tie the game at one. After Alvarez popped out, the Pirates brought in left Jose Hernandez to face Jeff McNeil.

McNeil was late getting to the plate and called his time immediately to avoid an automatic strike to start the at-bat. After digging in, Hernandez twitched his shoulder and was called for a balk by third base umpire Edwin Moscoso to score the go-ahead run. McNeil dumped a soft flare into left for a double to score Wendle to make it a 3-1 game.

- Mets starter Jose Quintana went to full counts in seven of the first 11 at-bats of the game, allowing three walks, three strikeouts and a single in the process. But the left-hander got through three frames without any damage thanks in part to some bone-headed base running from the Pirates’ Connor Joe, who was retired at second on a 7-4 fielder’s choice in the first robbing Reynolds of a single.

The Pirates got on the board in the fifth when Reynolds’ two-out check-swing grounder just got past a diving Alonso at first to score Alika Williams from second after he doubled.

Quintana was effective and allowed just five hard-hit balls, but with so many batters getting into deep counts elevated his pitch count and ended his outing early. He got just 23 called strikes and whiffs accounting for just 25 percent of his pitches.

His final line in his fourth start of the season: 5.0 innings, four hits, one run, three walks and four strikeouts on 93 pitches (53 strikes) lowering his ERA to 3.05 on the year.

- Reed Garrett entered in the sixth and struck out the side on 11 pitches with six whiffs and a called strike. Garrett finished with six strikeouts, including five swinging (three on the splitter, two on the slider) in two innings of work with a walk and an infield single in the seventh.

The Mets reliever has now struck out 17 of 31 batters he has faced to start the season.

- Jorge Lopez pitched a clean eighth with a strikeout. And Drew Smith nailed down his first save of the season with a clean ninth including two strikeouts.

- Harrison Bader took away extra bases to start the second when he ran down the drive to the right-center field gap to make a sliding grab to rob Andrew McCutchen. The 376-foot liner had an expected batting average of .720, but was just a long out.

MVP of the Game: Pirates manager Derek Shelton

If this were a team award the Mets batters bursting out for a three-run seventh and the bullpen slamming the door would get honors. But Pittsburgh's skipper had the biggest impact on the game by hooking his starter, who looked nearly unhittable.


Upcoming schedule

The Mets and Pirates conclude their three-game set on Wednesday afternoon at 1:10 p.m.

New York will see right-hander Luis Severino (1-1, 3.00 ERA) climb the hill with Pittsburgh sending out left-hander Bailey Falter (1-0, 4.20 ERA).