Looking to shake his squad out of its slump Dontae Johnson Color Rush Jersey
, Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle juggled the top of his lineup.
Didn’t hurt that the Pirates ran into the perfect opponent, too – a team struggling even worse than they were.
Josh Bell hit a two-run homer, Gregory Polanco also went deep and Pittsburgh took advantage of some dreadful defense by the New York Mets to snap a five-game losing streak with a 6-4 victory Monday night.
”If it’s broken you have to fix it, right?” said Bell, who batted second. ”Changing things up. It might have been the spark that we needed.”
In a series opener between tumbling teams, Pittsburgh built a five-run cushion for Jameson Taillon and held on to hand the Mets their seventh straight defeat before a mostly quiet crowd of 22,135. New York (31-45) is 6-24 in its last 30 games – and that 11-1 start to the season feels like ancient history.
Playing at home has hardly helped. The reeling Mets, with the fewest wins in the National League, have lost 14 of 15 at Citi Field, falling to 13-25 in their own ballpark this season.
”It’s tough Preston Brown Color Rush Jersey
,” rookie manager Mickey Callaway said. ”We need to start playing better baseball to win some games.”
After totaling only eight runs during their skid, the Pirates shuffled the first three hitters in their batting order. Leadoff man Starling Marte stole two bases and scored three times as Pittsburgh, which was in first place on May 17, won for only the 11th time in 35 games.
”We’re just looking for anything to kick-start us. Different guys hitting in different spots, maybe getting some different pitches to hit,” Taillon said. ”So I think it was fun. I think it was good to mix things up. If you do the same thing over and over, you’re crazy. So we mix it and we got some results.”
Taillon (5-6) took a two-hit shutout into the seventh inning against a makeshift Mets lineup before New York tried to rally. Consecutive doubles by Jose Reyes and Kevin Plawecki chased Taillon, and a three-run homer by pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores off Tyler Glasnow trimmed Pittsburgh’s lead to 5-4.
Steven Brault entered and threw seven straight balls before recovering to strike out Jose Bautista on a pitch in the dirt. Brault then got Asdrubal Cabrera to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Cabrera also committed an earlier error at second base.
Kyle Crick pitched out of trouble in the eighth , and Elias Diaz provided an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth. Felipe Vazquez struck out the side for his 15th save in 19 attempts.
”That’s the way you’re looking for your closer to finish the game,” Hurdle said. ”That’s as good as he’s pitched all season.”
Two errors in the first three innings by rookie third baseman Luis Guillorme – touted as a slick fielder – led directly to a pair of unearned runs against Mets starter Seth Lugo (2-3).
”Didn’t make the plays Mason Rudolph Color Rush Jersey
,” Guillorme said. ”I should be able to play anywhere they put me.”
Josh Harrison hit a sacrifice fly in the first, Polanco had a solo homer in the second and Diaz delivered a two-out RBI single in the third.
It was only the second home run since May 12 for Polanco, who came off the bench the previous three days.
Bell sliced a two-run shot into the left-field corner in the sixth, his first homer since May 31 at St. Louis. Bell has three homers in four career games at Citi Field, where Pittsburgh has won 11 of its last 16.
”Everyone contributed something,” Hurdle said. ”Marte has the ability to change a game up top, just to really get you going.”
In the wake of Arizona’s four-game sweep at Pittsburgh last weekend, Hurdle spoke to his team.
”I felt we just needed as a group to recommit to some things,” he said.
Needing a fresh arm in the bullpen, the Mets recalled RHP Tyler Bashlor from Double-A Binghamton and optioned RHP Chris Flexen to Triple-A Las Vegas. The 25-year-old Bashlor made his major league debut in the sixth and worked two innings Saquon Barkley Jersey Giants
, giving up Bell’s two-run homer.
DOWN ON THE FARM
Pirates minor leaguer Oddy Nunez pitched a rain-shortened no-hitter Sunday for Class A Bradenton in the Florida State League. Nunez struck out six and walked two over eight innings in a 5-0 win against Fort Myers.
Mets: OF Brandon Nimmo didn’t start because of a sore right pinkie after getting hit by a pitch Sunday. But an MRI showed no broken bones and he is day to day. ”Real good news,” a relieved Callaway said. Nimmo entered as a pinch-runner in the eighth and stayed in the game to play left field. … Flores and 3B Todd Frazier were rested. Frazier lined out to center field as a pinch-hitter. … 3B David Wright (shoulder, back) took batting practice and grounders on the field.
Pirates RHP Chad Kuhl (5-5, 4.56 ERA) starts Tuesday night against LHP Steven Matz (3-5, 3.68).
Overall champions Mikaela Shiffrin and Marcel Hirscher dominated the penultimate World Cup races of the season on Saturday.
Both racers had already locked up their overall and discipline titles in recent weeks before adding convincing wins at the World Cup finals.
Shiffrin won her seventh slalom of the season, a personal best for the American. Holding on to a commanding first-run lead, Shiffrin won by a massive 1.58 seconds over Wendy Holdener of Switzerland. Olympic slalom champion Frida Hansdotter of Sweden was another 0.01 behind in third.
”It was so much fun. This is how I want to feel every race. In the second run, it’s my dream of skiing like that,” said Shiffrin after her 32nd victory in the discipline and 43rd overall.
She secured her fifth slalom season title and second straight overall championship last week.
”The whole season was really, really great for me http://www.titansauthorizedshops.com/authentic-rashaan-evans-jersey
,” said Shiffrin, who added gold in GS and silver in the combined event at the Pyeongchang Olympics last month. ”But always at the end of the season, I want to be strong and I can feel really proud of that.”
Shiffrin posted the fastest times in both runs on Saturday, and won the second run by an even larger margin than the first.
”I was super focused on the race and what I wanted to do with my skiing,” Shiffrin said, adding that she got additional motivation from Hirscher’s performance in the men’s race.
”For sure, he is a huge inspiration for me,” Shiffrin said. ”How he has been skiing, even in the first run with that big mistake. He is incredible.”
Hirscher nearly skied out after catching a bump halfway down his opening run but overcame the mishap to win the season-ending men’s giant slalom for his 58th career victory. The Austrian became only the third skier to win 13 races in a single World Cup season, after Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark in 1978-79 and Austria’s Hermann Maier in 2000-01.
”This is definitely something so unreal http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-taron-johnson-jersey
,” said Hirscher, who can set a new best mark in Sunday’s slalom.
The Olympic GS champion had already locked up the season title in the discipline and his seventh straight overall championship two weeks ago.
Hirscher fractured his ankle in a training run on his first day on snow in August and missed the entire pre-season preparation. In early December, however, he won the first GS of the season.
”We were not thinking that I could win races so early in the season and now it is my best season way out,” he said. ”Unbelievable, thank you for that.”
Hirscher beat Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway by 0.23 seconds, while Victor Muffat-Jeandet of France was another 0.03 back in third. It was the 11th time that Kristoffersen finished a race in second place this season, a World Cup record.
The Norwegian posted the fastest second-run time but it was not enough to fully close the gap to Hirscher.
”Today it was a close decision,” Hirscher said. ”I am super happy that I managed to pull it off once again.”
The World Cup season ends with the women’s GS and the men’s slalom on Sunday.