PIRATES 8 – METS 1
The Pittsburgh Pirates started J.A. Happ, Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke in three consecutive games and came away with a three game sweep over the first place New York Mets.
In a pitching matchup that strongly favored the Mets this afternoon with Matt Harvey on the mound, Jeff Locke failed to get through the sixth inning once again but did his job in allowing one run and four hits over 5 1/3 innings as the Pirates bullpen took over from there in throwing 3 2/3 shutout innings and surrendering no hits.
Arquimedes Caminero who earned his 4th win of the season, relieved Locke in the sixth and came in after a rain delay with one out and runnners on first and second. Caminero struck out Travis d’Arnaud for the second out and got Ruben Tejada to groundout to end the inning.
The Pirates would then break the game wide open in the seventh with a four-run inning and followed that up with a three-run inning in the eighth.
The Pirates out-hit the Mets 15-4 without three key hitters in their lineup. Andrew McCutchen, Jung Ho Kang and Francisco Cervelli were all given days off with the Pirates playing 14 innings Saturday night.
PIRATES – METS 5 TAKEAWAYS
1. Friday night J.A. Happ allowed one run on seven hits, walking one and striking out seven over 5 1/3 innings. Saturday night Charlie Morton struck out nine batters over 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on just four hits and walked one batter. Today Jeff Locke allowed one run on four hits, striking out five and walking two. Locke was very effective at locating his fastball inside and his velocity got stronger in the fifth and sixth innings.
2. If you’re going to walk Pedro Florimon twice in a game, you often get what you deserve. The Mets in the seventh inning walked Florimon for the second time in the game with a leadoff walk, then followed that up with a throwing error by Bobby Parnell, on a Michael Morse grounder, putting runners at first and third. Gregory Polanco the Majors hottest hitter, drove in the go-ahead run with a first pitch single to center scoring Florimón and the Mets imploded from there. Polanco was 2-6 with a triple, RBI on the day.
3. Aramis Ramirez had a huge day, going 4-5 with a double, 3 RBIs.
4. Pedro Alvarez hit a solo homer run off Matt Harvey in the second inning for his 18th home run of the season. Alvarez has three home runs in his last six games, and has hits in eight of 10 games.
5. The Pirates earned their 13th sweep of the season, most since 1991. They also gained a game on the St. Louis Cardinals who lost to the Marlins 6-4. Pittsburgh heads into Monday’s action five games out of first place.