After an impressive start, Jon Niese’s season has fallen off the rails. The lefty was shelled for a career high eight runs on eight hits over four-plus innings as the Pittsburgh Pirates (20-16) defeated the New York Mets (14-19) by a score of 11-2. The loss is Niese’s (2-4, 5.93 ERA) third in as many starts.
Niese’s teammates did not pick him up either as their bats were silenced by Pirates starter Francisco Liriano. Liriano (1-0, 1.69 ERA) allowed one run on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out nine in his first game returning back from a broken non-pitching arm,
The Pirates jumped out to a 2-0 lead on RBI singles in the second and third innings but they did most of their damage with the long ball this afternoon. Jose Tabata homered in the third for one of his four hits on the afternoon to give the Pirates a 4-0 lead.
The wheels fell off the Niese and the Mets in the fifth. Jordy Mercer homered with one out to give the Pirates a 5-0 lead. After Andrew McCutchen and Gaby Sanchez walked, Tabata knocked Niese out of the game with an RBI double to extend the Pirate lead to 6-0. The Met bullpen reared its ugly head yet again as Scott Atchison allowed two inherited runners to score and gave up another run charged to him before getting out of the fifth with the score 9-0.
The Mets scored in the sixth on an RBI infield single by Marlon Byrd to make the score 9-1. The Pirates added runs in the seventh and eighth, including Mercer’s second home run of the afternoon.
The game was delayed for 47 minutes due to rain in the ninth inning. Following the delay, Andy Brown homered in the ninth inning to make the score 11-2.
Player of the Game
Today’s player of the game goes to Jose Tabata. Tabata went 4-5 with a homer and 3 RBI to help lead the Pirates to victory.
The Mets look to get the series split tomorrow afternoon at Citi Field. Matt Harvey (4-0, 1.28 ERA) opposes Pirates righty Jeanmar Gomez (2-0, 2.38 ERA). First pitch is set for 1:10.
- The Mets struck 16 times this afternoon.
- The Mets have scored three runs or less in ten of their last thirteen games.
- Frank Francisco has been assigned to Double-A Binghamton as he rehabs his way back from injury.