Mets 4, Pirates 2
By the way he pitched, you never would have known that Dillon
Gee’s feet hurt.
The New York Mets right-hander developed blisters on the soles
of his feet Sunday during an 87-degree afternoon. It was so warm
that the dirt on the mound baked in the sun.
However, Gee overcame the blisters and pitched another gem
against the Pirates. John Buck hit a two-run single during a
three-run first inning to lead the Mets to a 4-2 win, and New York
avoided a sweep by Pittsburgh before the All-Star break.
”Stuff-wise, it probably wasn’t the best day but I just tried
to throw a lot of strikes, especially after the guys got us out to
an early lead and set the tone out there the first inning against a
good pitcher,” Gee said. ”I just wanted to throw a lot of strikes
after that and keep them off-balance.”
Gee (7-7) allowed just one unearned run in 6 2/3 innings to the
Pirates (56-37), who fell a game behind St. Louis in the NL
Gee is 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in five career starts against
Pittsburgh. He scattered five hits, struck out two and walked
”It’s just sometimes this is the way it works out,” Gee said
of his success against the Pirates. ”They’re a really good team. I
was just trying to throw strikes with all my pitches and just keep
them off balance. And it worked out.”
After having to use his bullpen for eight innings in the first
two games of the series, New York manager Terry Collins was happy
to see Gee pitch into the seventh.
”We needed to get innings, we needed to get him deep into the
game, and he gave us that,” Collins said. ”He was exhausted. His
foot was bothering him. But he gave us everything we needed
Buck’s hit capped a three-run first inning against fill-in
starter Gerrit Cole (4-3), who lost his third straight start after
becoming the first Pirates pitcher since Nick Maddox in 1907 to win
the first four of his career.
Buck, Eric Young Jr. and Marlon Byrd each had three hits for New
York, which finished a 6-3 road trip. The Mets will host the
All-Star Game on Tuesday night at Citi Field.
”It’s nice that we’ve kind of proven to ourselves we can have a
little more confidence moving to the second half, but there’s still
a long ways to go,” said Mets third baseman David Wright, who will
start for the NL on Tuesday. ”We did have a nice month after a
couple of pretty bad months. It’s nice to be progressively getting
better so hopefully the best is yet to come and we continue that
Bobby Parnell earned his 17th save in 20 opportunities with a
scoreless ninth despite giving up back-to-back singles to Clint
Barmes and pinch-hitter Russell Martin with one out. He got Jordy
Mercer to fly out to end the game.
”We continue to fight until the final out,” Pittsburgh manager
Clint Hurdle said. ”Sometimes I’d like to see us hit the `go’
button a little earlier in the game, but we always fight.”
Starling Marte had two hits for the Pirates, whose three-game
winning streak was snapped.
Cole surrendered three runs and six hits in five innings with
two walks and five strikeouts. He started in place of All-Star
left-hander Jeff Locke, who was scratched from this start on
Saturday because of lower back tightness.
The Mets took a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Byrd bounced a
run-scoring, ground-rule double into the left-field seats, and Buck
lined a two-run single to right.
”I didn’t come out ready to pitch and that inexcusable,” Cole
said. ”It’s just indefensible. I didn’t give our team a very good
chance to win. I put us in position where I had to scratch and claw
and so did the rest of the team.”
Marte also bounced an RBI double into the seats in the third
inning to draw the Pirates within 3-1.
Daniel Murphy tripled in a run in the seventh to restore the
Mets’ three-run lead.
Pittsburgh put runners on second and third with none out in the
eighth on a single by Mercer and a double by Andrew McCutchen, but
the Pirates scored only one run when Jose Tabata grounded out
against LaTroy Hawkins.
NOTES: Collins said the blister on RHP Matt Harvey’s right index
finger has healed and he will be able to pitch in the All-Star
game. Harvey is a prime contender to be the NL’s starting pitcher
on Tuesday despite being scratched from his scheduled start
Saturday against the Pirates because of the blister and to limit
his innings this season. … Mets 1B Ike Davis got the day off
after going 0-for-8 in the first two games of the series. Josh
Satin started in his place. … Pittsburgh RHP Mark Melancon was
added as injury replacement to the NL All-Star roster. That gives
the Pirates a five-man All-Star contingent, their largest since
1972. Melancon joins Locke, RHP Jason Grilli, 3B Pedro Alvarez and
McCutchen. … Locke said he expects to make his next start July 21