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NEW YORK -- The umpires got this one right.
Garrett Jones hit a three-run homer -- a call that was correctly overturned by baseball's beleaguered umps -- and Wandy Rodriguez pitched the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 7-3 victory over the New York Mets on Friday night.
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With runners at the corners in the fifth inning, Jones hit a drive to right off Shaun Marcum (0-3) that just cleared a leaping Marlon Byrd. The ball caromed back onto the field off the bottom of a black retaining wall just above the fence and was initially ruled in play.
Jones ended up on third and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle came out for a quick chat with crew chief Joe West, who cracked a smile as the discussion began. The umpires went inside to look at the replay and, after a 1 1/2-minute delay, came back on the field and signaled home run.
"It was barely over the top of the fence and careened back," West said. "So everything worked like it's supposed to."
It's been a rough week for umpires, who botched a home run review Wednesday in Cleveland and goofed on a pitching-change rule the next night in Houston. Major League Baseball executive vice president Joe Torre said Angel Hernandez's crew made an "improper call" in Cleveland, and MLB suspended umpire Fieldin Culbreth for two games Friday because he was in charge in Houston.
Culbreth and the rest of his crew -- Brian O'Nora, Bill Welke and Adrian Johnson -- were also fined an undisclosed amount.
Hurdle wouldn't reveal what it was that made West grin: "That's between me and the Cowboy," he said with a smile of his own.
West explained that he simply inquired if the manager was "asking nicely" for a review.
"And he says, `Yes.' And I said, `Sure."'
"I had Clint when he first started as a player," West said. "It was very professional, the way it should be."
Jones doubled twice and leadoff man Starling Marte also had three hits for the Pirates, who improved to 4-13 at Citi Field. Pittsburgh had lost four of five overall, including the opener of this four-game series Thursday.
Handed an early lead, Rodriguez (3-2) allowed six hits over six innings to win for the first time in four starts. He gave up Anthony Recker's first homer for the Mets but worked around a leadoff double in the fourth and held New York to 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
"He was able to get through innings and leave runners on base," Hurdle said. "He gave us what we needed."
Mets captain David Wright went down after fouling a pitch off the inside of his left knee in the first inning, but stayed in the game until he was lifted in the ninth.
"It was pretty sore, but he said he thought he could play," manager Terry Collins said.
Rodriguez improved to 4-0 in his last five starts against New York and 6-2 overall. Vin Mazzaro tossed two scoreless innings and Jason Grilli retired Ruben Tejada with two on, making him perfect in 14 save chances this season.
"We needed to win the game," Hurdle said, explaining why he went to Grilli.
Marcum looked uncomfortable on the mound and worked deliberately all night. He has failed to get through the fifth inning in any of his three starts for the Mets since beginning the season on the disabled list.
"I feel good. The thing is, I'm just not making pitches," Marcum said. "When you don't throw 95 (mph) and the ball's up in the zone, they're going to get hit. The main thing is I've got to get back to locating and getting the ball down in the zone."
The right-hander had three 1-2-3 innings but still gave up six runs and nine hits. He also hit two batters with pitches.
Jones opened a three-run second with a double to left-center, the first of four straight hits off Marcum. Pedro Alvarez had an RBI single and Rodriguez drove in a run with a bases-loaded smash up the middle that knocked Marcum's glove off his left hand.
The play turned into a 1-4-6 forceout after the ball deflected to second baseman Justin Turner. Marcum was checked twice by a trainer but remained in the game.
"I'm very, very worried about his hand. I thought for sure he broke his thumb the way the ball came off it," Collins said. "But the X-rays were negative, so we'll just get him on the side and, hopefully, he continues to get a little bit better."
Marcum said his hand was "still a little sore, but it should be good to go."
Pittsburgh made it 3-0 when Tejada struggled to get the ball out of his glove and double-clutched a throw on Marte's run-scoring single to shortstop. The Pirates, who batted around in the inning, could easily have scored more if Jose Tabata hadn't been cut down at third for the first out on Alvarez's single to right.
The homer by Jones extended Pittsburgh's lead to 6-0. Even he wasn't sure if his drive cleared the wall.
"It looked like it hit the top of the fence a little bit and kind of ricocheted off the fence. I couldn't really tell so I just kept running," Jones said. "It always feels good when they're able to come on the field and twirl a finger."
The clutch hitting was a welcome change for the Pirates, who went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position Thursday night. They entered 4 for 45 (.089) in those situations over the previous six games.
Pittsburgh has homered in 11 of its last 12 games.
|Garrett Jones hits a three-run homer for the Pirates, one of his three hits in five at-bats against the Mets. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Starling Marte, LF||4||1||3||1||0||1||0||.333|
|Jordy Mercer, 2B||4||1||2||0||1||1||0||.261|
|Andrew McCutchen, CF||5||0||0||0||0||0||5||.271|
|Garrett Jones, 1B||5||2||3||3||0||0||1||.301|
|Jose Contreras, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jason Grilli, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jose Tabata, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.232|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3B||4||1||2||1||0||1||0||.193|
|Michael McKenry, C||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.237|
|John McDonald, SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.069|
|Wandy Rodriguez, P||3||0||0||1||0||0||0||.125|
|Vin Mazzaro, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Gaby Sanchez, PH-1B||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||.259|
|a-walked for Mazzaro in the 9th|
|2B - Garrett Jones 2 (9, Marcum, Atchison), Michael McKenry (3, Marcum)|
|HR - Garrett Jones (5, Marcum)|
|RBI - Starling Marte (17), Garrett Jones 3 (20), Pedro Alvarez (16), Wandy Rodriguez (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - Starling Marte (6)|
|PK - Starling Marte (1, Carson)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Alvarez-Mercer-G. Jones|
|Wandy Rodriguez (W,3-2)||6||6||1||1||0||2||1||3.62|
|Jason Grilli (S,14)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.23|
|Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 92-62, Vin Mazzaro 18-13, Jose Contreras 23-10, Jason Grilli 3-2|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 8-8, Vin Mazzaro 3-2, Jose Contreras 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 24, Vin Mazzaro 6, Jose Contreras 6, Jason Grilli 1|
|New York Mets|
|Ruben Tejada, SS||5||0||1||0||0||0||3||.242|
|Justin Turner, 2B-3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.347|
|David Wright, 3B||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.306|
|Scott Rice, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Lucas Duda, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.227|
|Marlon Byrd, RF||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.250|
|Robert Carson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Daniel Murphy, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.264|
|Scott Atchison, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jordany Valdespin, 2B||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.242|
|Ike Davis, 1B||4||1||2||0||0||0||2||.190|
|Anthony Recker, C||3||1||2||1||1||0||0||.200|
|Juan Lagares, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||4||.154|
|Shaun Marcum, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Andrew Brown, RF||3||0||1||1||0||1||1||.182|
|a-grounded out for Carson in the 6th|
|2B - David Wright (6, Rodriguez), Juan Lagares (1, Rodriguez)|
|HR - Jordany Valdespin (3, Contreras), Anthony Recker (1, Rodriguez)|
|RBI - Jordany Valdespin (11), Anthony Recker (3), Andrew Brown (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - Andrew Brown (1)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Outfield Assists - Marlon Byrd 1|
|DP - Tejada-Valdespin-Davis|
|E - David Wright (2, Throwing)|
|New York Mets|
|Shaun Marcum (L,0-3)||4.2||9||6||6||0||2||1||8.59|
|HBP - McDonald (by Shaun Marcum), Marte (by Shaun Marcum)|
|WP - Scott Rice (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Shaun Marcum 81-53, Robert Carson 17-11, Scott Atchison 24-15, Scott Rice 15-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shaun Marcum 3-8, Robert Carson 1-2, Scott Atchison 2-2, Scott Rice 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Shaun Marcum 24, Robert Carson 4, Scott Atchison 7, Scott Rice 5|
|Attendance - 25123|
|Game Time - 3:07|
|Temperature - 68|
|Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Joe West, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Rob Drake|