Pirates lose to Mets in 10th but Taillon solid in debut
PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Pirates blew a late lead and missed a chance to sweep a three-game series from the New York Mets, and yet the mood was upbeat afterward.
Pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores' bloop single with the bases loaded in the 10th inning drove in the go-ahead run for the Mets in a 6-5 victory over the Pirates on Wednesday night.
The Pirates, though, was buoyed by the performance of Jameson Taillon, a well-regarded 24-year-old right-hander, in his major league debut. He gave up three runs and six hits in six innings with three strikeouts and two walks.
''I really thought he did a very good job,'' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ''He kept his composure throughout everything that happened. I was very pleased.''
Pittsburgh lost for the eighth time in 12 games despite sweeping the Mets in a doubleheader Monday.
Taillon was the second overall pick in the 2010 draft, chosen after Washington's Bryce Harper and just before Baltimore's Manny Machado. Taillon sat out the last two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery and a sports hernia.
''It was fun,'' Taillon said. ''I tried to take a step back and take it all in. It was really amazing. The stadium was beautiful. The whole experience was beautiful. Obviously, it's something I'll never forget.''
Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker opened the 10th with consecutive singles off Cory Luebke (0-1), and James Loney sacrificed. Asdrubal Cabrera was intentionally walked, and Flores hit a flare into center field.
''I wanted to stay up the middle against him but the ball got up on me a little bit,'' Flores said. ''Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.''
Michael Conforto's two-run homer, an eighth-inning drive off Jared Hughes, tied the score 5-5. The Mets won for the just the fourth time in 11 games and stopped a nine-game losing streak to the Pirates that dated to 2014.
Hughes pitching hand was bloody after a callus on his thumb broke, but he said it did not affect his command.
Addison Reed (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings, and Jeurys Familia pitched a shaky ninth to convert his 35th straight save chance, including 19 this season. He walked three batters around Sean Rodriguez's double-play grounder, then threw a called third strike past David Freese to end the game with runners at the corners.
Mets rookie infielder Ty Kelly hit his first career home run. The two-run drive tied the score 2-2 in the fourth against Taillon.
Mets starter Noah Syndergaard allowed three runs - two earned - and seven hits in six innings. He matched his career high with five walks.
Pittsburgh's Gregory Polanco hit three doubles, including one that drove in a run during a two-run first. Polanco's third double came in a two-run seventh that put the Pirates ahead 5-3 - one run scored on a throwing error by Walker, the second baseman, and the other on Josh Harrison's sacrifice fly.
Pirates: LF Starling Marte (bruised left ankle) did not start for a second game in a row after being removed from the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader. He pinch hit in the eighth and lined out, then said he should be ready to return to the lineup Thursday.
Plate umpire Alan Porter ejected the Pirates' Matt Joyce for arguing a called third strike that ended the seventh inning. He warned both benches in the eighth after Hughes threw a pitch behind Cespedes' back after Conforto's home run.
PARTCH SENT DOWN
The Pirates optioned right-handed reliever Curtis Partch to Indianapolis to open a roster spot for Taillon. Partch was recalled from the same club Saturday but did not appear in a game.
Pirates: LHP Jeff Locke (5-3, 4.28 ERA), who has won four straight starts, is scheduled to face Colorado RHP Chad Bettis (4-5, 5.58) on Thursday as Pittsburgh takes a one-day trip to Denver in the middle of a nine-game homestand to make up a game postponed April 28.
Mets: RHP Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.27) is scheduled to start against Brewers RHP Jimmy Nelson (5-4, 3.43) on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Milwaukee.