Mets rally in 7th and score the go-ahead run on a balk for a 3-1 victory over the Pirates

NEW YORK (AP) — Jose Hernandez balked home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, Jeff McNeil added an RBI double and the New York Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Joey Wendle came off the bench and delivered a tying double in the seventh for the Mets, who have won nine of 12 following an 0-5 start to move over .500 for the first time since early June last year.

New York came back to beat the Pirates for the second consecutive night and has won four straight series after dropping its first two.

Wendle replaced an ailing Brett Baty (left hamstring tightness) at third base in the top of the seventh and doubled off Luis Ortiz (1-1) moments later. That scored Francisco Lindor, who drew a one-out walk from Ortiz and went to third on Pete Alonso's sharp single to center.

With two outs and runners at second and third, Hernandez was summoned to face McNeil. But before throwing a pitch, the left-hander committed a balk that allowed Alonso to score.

McNeil then slapped a double to left field, making it 3-1.

Reed Garrett (2-0) struck out six over two scoreless innings in relief of Jose Quintana, who permitted only Bryan Reynolds' check-swing RBI single in five innings against his former team.

Drew Smith got three outs for his fourth career save and first this season. Mets closer Edwin Díaz pitched the previous two days.

Pirates rookie Jared Jones pitched five shutout innings in his fourth major league start, throwing 50 of 59 pitches for strikes. He struck out seven, walked none and allowed just one hit.

Featuring a 97-99 mph fastball, Jones became the fourth pitcher since 1893 (when the mound was established at its current distance from home plate) to strike out at least seven batters in each of his first four games, according to the the Elias Sports Bureau. The others were Masahiro Tanaka (2014), Stephen Strasburg (2010) and Pittsburgh right-hander José DeLeón (1983), who all had five-game streaks.

The lone hit off Jones was Alonso's soft leadoff double in the second, which could have been caught by a sliding Reynolds in shallow left.

Pitching on four days' rest for the first time in the majors, the 22-year-old Jones was pulled by manager Derek Shelton after five overpowering innings.


Pirates: Gold Glove 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes was scratched from the lineup because of tightness in his lower back. ... C Yasmani Grandal (left foot plantar fasciitis) was scheduled to play four or five innings in his first rehab game at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Mets: After receiving an injection last week, DH J.D. Martinez (lower back tightness) has resumed swinging a bat at the club's complex in Florida. But he's unlikely to make his Mets debut until at least April 26 when the team returns from a West Coast trip, manager Carlos Mendoza and president of baseball operations David Stearns said. ... RHP Sean Reid-Foley (shoulder impingement) is scheduled to make back-to-back rehab outings Wednesday and Thursday for Double-A Binghamton. After that, he could be ready to come off the injured list. ... Stearns said he thinks RHP Kodai Senga (right shoulder capsule strain) will be back soon after he's eligible to come off the 60-day injured list May 27. ... RHP Tylor Megill (shoulder strain) was set to throw from 120 feet Tuesday.


Pirates LHP Bailey Falter (1-0, 4.20 ERA) starts the series finale Wednesday afternoon against RHP Luis Severino (1-1, 3.00), who is coming off his first win for the Mets last Friday against Kansas City.



Mike Fitzpatrick, The Associated Press