Starling Marte’s three-run homer in the seventh inning broke open a tight game and the Pittsburgh Pirates snapped the New York Mets’ seven-game winning streak with an 8-4 victory on Friday night.
The Pirates led 5-4 when Marte turned on a pitch from Tyler Bashlor and sent it into the seats in left field for his 19th home run of season.
Melky Cabrera hit a two-run double during Pittsburgh’s five-run fourth inning against Steven Matz (6-7). José Osuna, starting at third base after the Pirates designated Jung Ho Kang for assignment, had two hits and an RBI for the Pirates.
Trevor Williams (4-4) overcame a shaky start to pick up his first victory since May 10.
Pete Alonzo, Robinson Cano and Amed Rosario all had two hits apiece for the Mets. But New York lost for just the sixth time since the All-Star break when Matz couldn’t protect an early three-run lead.
Matz dominated the Pirates in New York last weekend, tossing a shutout on just 99 pitches. He breezed through the first three innings in the rematch but didn’t make it out of the fourth.
The first five batters Matz faced in the fourth all reached base, culminating with Cabrera’s drive to the wall in left-center field that gave the Pirates the lead. Matz exited three batters later, allowing five runs with a walk and four strikeouts to fall to 2-7 on the road. Matz’s bumpy performance ended a 17-game streak in which New York’s starting pitchers allowed three or fewer runs.
The Mets jumped on Williams early, touching him for two runs in the first and appeared on the verge of a big inning in the third. Yet Williams allowed only a run thanks in part to some nifty defensive plays at third by Osuna, who cut down the lead runner on a force play and later caught Wilson Ramos in a rundown between third and home.
Williams settled down quickly. He didn’t allow a hit after J.D. Davis’ RBI-double in the third, retiring the final 11 batters he faced as Pittsburgh rallied.
Pittsburgh’s five-run outburst in the fourth game gave them the lead. New York drew within one in the seventh when Pirates shortstop Kevin Newman dropped a pop up in shallow center field but Marte propelled Pittsburgh to just its fourth win since the All-Star break with his three-run shot in the bottom of the inning.