By BEN WALKER
AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Pedro Alvarez hit his 30th homer and drove in
four runs, leading Wandy Rodriguez and the Pittsburgh Pirates over
the Mets 10-6 on Tuesday night, ending New York’s four-game winning
Pittsburgh avoided elimination in the playoff race, remaining
mathematically in contention for the second NL wild-card spot. The
Pirates posted their 76th victory, the team’s most since 1999 when
they won 78.
David Wright homered and added a two-run single, tying the Mets’
career record of 1,418 hits set by Ed Kranepool. Justin Turner and
Wright connected in the first inning for the team’s first set of
consecutive home runs this season.
Alvarez hit a three-run shot that made it 4-0 in the first
inning. He’s plenty familiar with New York _ he was a prep star in
the city, and his sister previously worked for the Mets.
Alvarez drew a bases-loaded walk in the fifth, helping the
Pirates win for just the sixth time in 24 games. Tied for the NL
Central lead a week after the All-Star game, Pittsburgh (76-78) has
faded to seventh place in the wild-card standings and is trying to
avoid a 20th straight losing season.
Garrett Jones hit his 25th homer and drove in three runs for the
Rodriguez (12-13) recovered from rocky first and left in the
seventh with a 7-3 lead. He improved to 5-4 since being traded from
Houston to Pittsburgh in late July.
The Pirates backed their pitchers with several nice defensive
plays. Center fielder Andrew McCutchen bumped into the padded wall
after a catch, Jones rushed in from right field for a tumbling grab
and shortstop Clint Barmes charged a slow grounder for an out.
McCutchen went 1 for 3 with two walks and is hitting .336. He is
only behind San Francisco’s Melky Cabrera, who is at .346 but has
taken himself out of consideration for the batting title after
being suspended for testing positive for a performance-enhancing
Collin McHugh (0-3) was pulled soon after Josh Harrison’s
two-run triple in the second. Harrison later scored on an error by
Turner at second base.
Turner was involved in a play in the third that prompted
arguments from both managers. He reached on a throwing error by
Harrison from second base, made a brief turn toward second and
casually returned to first. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle contended
first baseman Gaby Sanchez tagged Turner before he got back to
first and, after all four umpires huddled, they agreed and called
him out. Mets manager Terry Collins then disputed the call with
three umps, to no avail.
NOTES: Mets LHP Robert Carson left after one batter in the
seventh with a strained left elbow. X-rays were negative and he
will have an MRI on Wednesday. Before the game, he wore a batting
practice jersey with “Pookie-Nookie” on the back _ his mom’s
nickname for him. … The Pirates lead the NL with 101 road home
runs. … Mets OF Jason Bay was out of the lineup because of back
stiffness. … Alvarez joined McCutchen with 30 homers this year.
The last time the Pirates had two 30-HR players was 2001 with
Aramis Ramirez and Brian Giles. … Pirates pitchers have struck
out six for a franchise record of 1,127. The 1969 staff, led by Bob
Veale and Dock Ellis, fanned 1,124. … Mets knuckleballer R.A.
Dickey will try for his 20th win Thursday afternoon vs. Pittsburgh.
Collins says Dickey will make his final start next week at Miami on
either the last day of the season or next-to-last day.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)