By DAVE SKRETTA   AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) _ Carlos Beltran’s three-run homer started New
York’s rally from a seven-run deficit and the Mets pulled off their
biggest comeback win in 11 years, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates
9-8 on Thursday.

After a tongue-lashing from manager Terry Collins the previous
night, New York found itself in a 7-0 hole by the third inning.
Beltran homered in the bottom of the third, then hit a leadoff
double in the sixth as the Mets scored four times to tie it at 7.
Ruben Tejada delivered a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth and
Beltran drew a bases-loaded walk later in the inning.

It was the Mets’ biggest rally to win since June 30, 2000, when
they overcame an 8-1 deficit by scoring 10 times in the eighth to
beat Atlanta 11-8, STATS LLC said.

The often-excitable Collins was especially exuberant as the Mets
shook hands on the field, shouting congratulations to his players
and slapping them real hard on the back.

The Mets’ beat-up bullpen hung tough the final four innings to
salvage a split of the four-game series. Jason Isringhausen (1-0)
worked the eighth for the win, and Francisco Rodriguez survived
Neil Walker’s RBI single in the ninth for his 16th save.

It was 7-all when Ronny Paulino led off the Mets eighth with a
walk against Jose Veras (1-2), moved to second on a balk and third
on a wild pitch. Tejada’s sacrifice fly _ his third RBI of the game
_ put the Mets ahead and Beltran’s walk gave them an insurance run.
Beltran wound up with four RBIs, Daniel Murphy drove in a run
and Jose Reyes provided a spark in his return from the bereavement
list for New York.

Walker also hit a three-run homer, Xavier Paul had a career-high
four hits and Andrew McCutchen drove in a pair of runs for the
Pirates, who had been playing better on the road.

They won their 17th game away from PNC Park on Wednesday night,
matching their total from all of last season, and had won seven of
10 series as the visiting club.

The success looked like it would continue early on.
Seven of the first 12 Pittsburgh batters singled off Mike
Pelfrey. Unlucky No. 13 was Walker, whose two-run shot in the
second inning sliced through winds gusting up to 35 mph and bounced
off the billboards overhanging the bullpens in right-center field.
The deep home run gave the Pirates a 6-0 lead through two
innings, and they tacked on another run in the third. Dusty Brown
drew a two-out walk, advanced to second on pitcher Paul Maholm’s
base hit and scored on Paul’s third single in as many innings.

Things got so rough for Pelfrey that he was booed when he came
to bat. The big right-hander allowed seven runs and 10 hits over
five innings, despite retiring his final seven hitters.

The Mets hitters bailed him out, though.
Their rally began when Reyes stroked a two-out single in the
third. Justin Turner followed with a single before Beltran launched
a 1-2 pitch from Maholm into the teeth of the wind, the ball
slamming off the facing of the second deck in left field.

New York pulled even in the sixth. Beltran doubled off the wall
and Jason Bay drew a walk before Maholm retired the next two
hitters. Then things unraveled for the left-hander.

Nick Evans walked to load the bases, and the light-hitting
Tejada sent a two-run single into right field. Murphy’s pinch-hit
RBI single knocked Maholm out of the game, and Chris Resop’s first
delivery to Reyes wound up at the backstop, allowing Tejada to
scamper home from third base with the tying run.

NOTES: Ronny Cedeno has gone 40 games without an error, the
longest streak by a Pirates SS since Jack Wilson went 42 games in
2008. … Mets RHP Taylor Buchholz (right shoulder fatigue) went on
the DL to make room for Reyes, retroactive to May 30. … The crowd
was 30,074, much of that kids in the upper decks who were on hand
for Fitness and Nutrition Education Day.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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