Alvarez Drives in 4
NEW YORK – Pedro Alvarez hit his 30th homer and drove in four runs, leading Wandy Rodriguez and the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Mets 10-6 on Tuesday night, ending New York’s four-game winning streak.
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 Pirates.
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 drug.
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.