|N.Y. Mets (70-83) «||0||0||0||2||4||0||0||0||x||6||6||0|
NEW YORK -- Ike Davis will take a 30-homer season as proof he's not as bad as he was in the first half.
Davis connected twice to set his career high, Jenrry Mejia pitched five effective innings for his first major league win and the New York Mets beat the plummeting Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 Monday night for their fourth straight victory.
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"It's definitely made myself feel a little better about the season," Davis said.
Davis had a career-best five RBI and David Wright had a run-scoring single to move within two hits of tying Ed Kranepool's franchise record of 1,418 hits.
The Pirates lost for the 31st time in 43 games since improving to a season-high 16 games above .500 (63-47) on Aug. 8. They started the day 6 ½ games back in the wild-card race with several teams ahead of them, and now need to win six of their last nine to avoid a 20th straight losing season.
"Unfortunately, the way we're going right now, this one backfired on us as well," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen went 1 for 3 with a triple to keep his batting average at .336 -- behind only Melky Cabrera, who is at an NL-best .346 but has removed himself from consideration after being suspended for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Davis' homer to left-center off Kyle McPherson (0-2) in the fourth came after Wright walked. Davis hit a three-run shot off Jeff Karstens in the fifth to make it 6-0, a batter after Wright had an RBI single.
"You got to look at Ike Davis and say, `OK, he's legit,"` Mets manager Terry Collins said. "You can write off the first half ... for whatever it was. The package is there."
Davis got off to a horrendous start after the 25-year-old slugger missed much of last season with an ankle injury. He was diagnosed with a likely case of Valley Fever during spring training and didn't lift his batting average to .200 for good until July 4.
At one point his struggles were so great Collins showed his support for Davis by saying the Mets would not send him to the minors. That meant a lot to the first baseman.
"It was huge. My teammates were a huge part of that, too," Davis said. "It was really cool. It worked out the way it should've worked out."
While he's hitting just .227, Davis has three multihomer games this year, including a three-homer game on July 28 at Arizona, and has connected 18 times since the All-Star break. He leads the team with 88 RBI.
So what's the difference?
"The difference is, I'm just not awful," Davis said. "The first 2 ½ months I was terrible. I felt like I never had played baseball before."
Nearing the end of a lost season of their own, Mejia's outing has to be encouraging for the Mets. Rushed to the big leagues at 20 years old in 2010, the team's top pitching prospect went 0-4.
Mejia (1-1) had reconstructive elbow surgery in May 2011 after starting out in the minors.
This was Mejia's fourth appearance for the Mets this year. He gave up five runs in three innings in his first start on Sept 15 at Milwaukee.
Mejia allowed four singles and two walks Monday. The right-hander struck out four and only his last out was made by an outfielder. After going to three-ball counts on four of the first five batters, Mejia settled to make it five with a quick final two innings.
He was smiling broadly in front of his locker, where he stashed the lineup card his manager gave him.
"I hope he realizes his stuff's good enough if he's around the plate," Collins said. "I thought it was a huge step for him."
Hurdle said McPherson needed to be more aggressive in his second major league start. Instead he had trouble finding the plate and was lifted after 4 1/3 innings. He gave up four runs and four hits with three walks. He struck out three.
"I just failed to execute," McPherson said of the homer to Davis. "Ball got up, elevated, and the good hitter he is, he put a good swing on it."
|The Mets' Ike Davis reaches 30 home runs for the season with two long balls against the Pirates. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Alex Presley, LF||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.238|
|a- Jose Tabata, PH-LF||2||0||1||1||0||0||1||.243|
|Josh Harrison, SS||4||0||1||0||1||0||2||.243|
|Andrew McCutchen, CF||3||1||1||0||1||1||0||.336|
|Garrett Jones, RF||4||0||1||1||0||1||3||.275|
|Neil Walker, 2B||3||0||2||0||1||0||0||.280|
|Gaby Sanchez, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.227|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.242|
|Michael McKenry, C||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.247|
|Kyle McPherson, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||2||.000|
|Hisanori Takahashi, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeff Karstens, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.107|
|b- Starling Marte, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.253|
|Justin Wilson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chris Leroux, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Travis Snider, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.247|
|a-flied out for Presley in the 7th|
|b-walked for Karstens in the 7th|
|c-struck out for Leroux in the 9th|
|3B - Andrew McCutchen (6, Familia)|
|RBI - Jose Tabata (16), Garrett Jones (79)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jose Tabata (12)|
|SB - Josh Harrison (6, 2nd base off Mejia/Thole), Starling Marte (10, 2nd base off Familia/Thole)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Kyle McPherson (L,0-2)||4.1||4||4||4||3||3||1||3.54|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kyle McPherson 82-46, Hisanori Takahashi 3-2, Jeff Karstens 20-13, Justin Wilson 13-7, Chris Leroux 18-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle McPherson 4-5, Jeff Karstens 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Kyle McPherson 19, Hisanori Takahashi 1, Jeff Karstens 6, Justin Wilson 3, Chris Leroux 3|
|New York Mets|
|Fred Lewis, RF-LF||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.176|
|Bobby Parnell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ramon Ramirez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Daniel Murphy, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.291|
|David Wright, 3B||3||2||1||1||1||0||1||.304|
|Ike Davis, 1B||4||2||2||5||0||1||1||.227|
|Scott Hairston, CF-LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.263|
|Lucas Duda, LF||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.243|
|Justin Hampson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeurys Familia, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Robert Carson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Andres Torres, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.221|
|Ruben Tejada, SS||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||.288|
|Josh Thole, C||2||1||0||0||1||1||1||.242|
|Jenrry Mejia, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|a- Jordany Valdespin, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.239|
|Manny Acosta, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mike Baxter, RF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.265|
|a-struck out for Mejia in the 5th|
|HR - Ike Davis 2 (30, McPherson, Karstens)|
|RBI - David Wright (85), Ike Davis 5 (88)|
|2-OUT RBI - David Wright (31), Ike Davis 3 (32)|
|SB - Daniel Murphy (9, 2nd base off McPherson/McKenry)|
|CS - Ruben Tejada (3, 2nd base by McPherson/McKenry)|
|Team LOB - 2|
|DP - Murphy-Tejada-Wright-Thole, Davis-Tejada-Parnell|
|PB - Josh Thole (18)|
|New York Mets|
|Jenrry Mejia (W,1-1)||5||4||0||0||2||4||0||4.91|
|WP - Jenrry Mejia (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jenrry Mejia 96-62, Manny Acosta 22-11, Justin Hampson 9-3, Jeurys Familia 13-8, Robert Carson 10-8, Bobby Parnell 3-2, Ramon Ramirez 23-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jenrry Mejia 8-2, Manny Acosta 3-0, Jeurys Familia 1-1, Bobby Parnell 1-0, Ramon Ramirez 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Jenrry Mejia 20, Manny Acosta 4, Justin Hampson 3, Jeurys Familia 3, Robert Carson 2, Bobby Parnell 1, Ramon Ramirez 5|
|Attendance - 22072|
|Game Time - 3:14|
|Temperature - 64|
|Umpires - Home - Manny Gonzalez, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Gerry Davis|