Pittsburgh at New York

New York
W: T. Watson (5-0) L: J. Valverde (1-1) S: M. Melancon (10)
HR: PIT - G. Sanchez (5)   NYM - L. Duda (6)

Sanchez helps Pirates rally late for wild win over Mets

CBSSports.com wire reports

NEW YORK -- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle had good reason to call upon Gaby Sanchez to bat for Ike Davis.

Sanchez tagged the Mets again, delivering a pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning and a tiebreaking single in the ninth that rallied Pittsburgh past New York 5-3 on Monday.

Sanchez has a .324 average with nine home runs and 34 RBI vs. New York, matching or topping his bests against any NL team. He lost playing time after Davis was acquired in a trade with the Mets in mid-April.

"Ike's a good player and he's been swinging the bat really well. He's been one of the hottest bats on the team. So, he's going to play and I understand that," Sanchez said about Davis, who was making his return to Citi Field. "My role is to keep that going whenever I get my chance, keep that going and help the team win."

The Mets announced after their ninth loss in 12 games that they had fired hitting coach Dave Hudgens. New York also cut reliever Jose Valverde soon after he gave up Sanchez's go-ahead hit.

Valverde (1-1) was booed off the field after allowing pinch-hitter Jose Tabata's tying single in the eighth. Valverde returned for the ninth and was even worse, yielding four runs overall.

"Don't think for one second that there's not a guy in there that realizes that this is part of it. We just released one of the best professionals I ever been around in Jose Valverde," a fired-up Collins said. "You deal with it, and if you can't you don't belong in the game."

Mets minor league hitting coordinator Lamar Johnson will take Hudgens' place. Right-hander Vic Black is being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to fill Valverde's spot.

With one out in the ninth, Valverde gave up a single to Neil Walker and walked Andrew McCutchen.

Sanchez fouled off a fastball, losing hold of the bat, which spun toward the Pirates dugout and hit a batboy in the legs. The batboy smiled and on-deck hitter Russell Martin checked to see if he was OK.

Sanchez then singled to left, scoring Walker. Juan Centeno couldn't handle Curtis Granderson's throw that bounced to the right of the plate and skittered past Valverde, who was backing up but way too close to the catcher. McCutchen scored on Granderson's error for a two-run lead.

Martin added an RBI double for Pittsburgh, which rebounded from a loss to Washington on Sunday after a season-high four straight wins.

"This mentality in the dugout is, `This is the inning.' Even if we get pushed down, the next inning we'll make something," Hurdle said. "You've got to be relentless. You can't get sad."

Tony Watson (5-0) pitched an inning for the win.

Mark Melancon got his 10th save.

Davis drew a warm reception from the Memorial Day crowd of 29,309, opposite of what he predicted during a pregame chat in the visitor's dugout. Popular with fans in his four-plus seasons, he went 0 for 2 with a walk.

Slumping Lucas Duda homered off Melancon to start the ninth. The homer was the first off Melancon in 86 innings, since April 14, 2013.

New York took a 2-0 lead in the fifth on Daniel Murphy's single, Pittsburgh's third error of the game and a favorable review under the new home plate collision rule.

But the Mets bullpen wasted a fine start by Jacob deGrom.

The 25-year-old deGrom pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings in his third career start, allowing five hits. He labored early but settled in to throw 122 pitches.

Brandon Cumpton was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to take the place of Wandy Rodriguez, who was designated for assignment Thursday, and matched deGrom into the fifth.

With the help of an umpire's review, New York took the lead.

The Mets two-out rally was started by -- who else? -- deGrom. He lined a single to left field for his second hit of the day and advanced when Juan Lagares walked.

A college shortstop, deGrom is now 4 for 5 as a big-league batter.

"I guess I've been seeing the ball pretty well," deGrom said.

Murphy lined a single to right field and deGrom scored easily. Josh Harrison's throw to third skipped passed third baseman Pedro Alvarez and Lagares scampered home. The ball took a good bounce back to Alvarez off the protective fence in front of the Pirates dugout and he made a quick throw home.

Martin set up to the left of home plate but stuck his leg out, blocking Lagares' path before the ball arrived.

Umpire Laz Diaz initially called Lagares out, but Collins asked crew chief Jeff Nelson to review the play under new rule 7.13, covering collisions at the plate.

After a delay of 3 minutes, 4 seconds, Lagares was called safe and Murphy was awarded second base on the play home.

"We've encouraged our guys to play the game, do what you feel athletically moved to do knowing what the options are," Hurdle said.


The Mets placed OF Eric Young Jr. on the DL because of a right hamstring strain. They recalled OF Matt den Dekker from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his place. ... The Pirates designated RHP Vin Mazzaro for assignment to make room for Cumpton. ... Up Next: Pirates RHP Edinson Volquez (2-4) will face Mets LHP Jonathon Niese (3-3) on Tuesday night.

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Neil Walker (left) scores as Mets catcher Juan Centeno mishandles the throw during the ninth inning. (USATSI)
Neil Walker (left) scores as Mets catcher Juan Centeno mishandles the throw during the ninth inning. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
New York

L. Duda
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

G. Sanchez
AB 2
R 2
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Pittsburgh Pirates
Josh Harrison, RF5000023 .286
Neil Walker, 2B4120100 .272
Andrew McCutchen, CF3120212 .309
Ike Davis, 1B2000102 .280
   a-Gaby Sanchez, PH-1B2222000 .274
Russell Martin, C5011002 .264
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4020100 .215
Starling Marte, LF4110123 .258
Jordy Mercer, SS3000003 .197
   b-Jose Tabata, PH1011000 .270
   Tony Watson, P10100001.000
   Mark Melancon, P0000000 .000
Brandon Cumpton, P2000013 .000
   c-Travis Snider, PH0000100 .212
   Jared Hughes, P0000000 .000
   d-Clint Barmes, PH-SS2000004 .200
a-homered for Davis in the 8th
b-singled for Mercer in the 8th
c-walked for Cumpton in the 7th
d-flied out for Hughes in the 8th
2B - Russell Martin (3, Torres), Pedro Alvarez (3, deGrom), Starling Marte (9, Valverde)
HR - Gaby Sanchez (5, Rice)
RBI - Gaby Sanchez 2 (12), Russell Martin (12), Jose Tabata (10)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Tabata (3)
SB - Jose Tabata (1, 2nd base off Valverde/Centeno)
Team LOB - 13
DP - Alvarez-Walker-Davis, Alvarez-Walker-Davis-Mercer-Davis
E - Pedro Alvarez (11, Throwing), Josh Harrison (1, Throwing), Jordy Mercer (3, Dropped line drive)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Brandon Cumpton 6721110 3.38
Jared Hughes 1000000 2.40
Tony Watson (W,5-0) 1000100 1.16
Mark Melancon (S,10) 1111021 2.25
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Cumpton 86-57, Jared Hughes 11-7, Tony Watson 14-7, Mark Melancon 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Cumpton 9-7, Jared Hughes 2-1, Tony Watson 1-2
Batters Faced - Brandon Cumpton 25, Jared Hughes 3, Tony Watson 4, Mark Melancon 4
New York (N.L.) Mets
Juan Lagares, CF3110100 .290
Daniel Murphy, 2B4011002 .309
David Wright, 3B4000002 .305
Curtis Granderson, LF3000111 .212
Bobby Abreu, RF4020001 .289
   Carlos Torres, P0000000 .000
Lucas Duda, 1B4121002 .236
Wilmer Flores, SS4000002 .231
Juan Centeno, C4000010 .278
Jacob deGrom, P2120000 .800
   Jeurys Familia, P0000000 .000
   a-Chris Young, PH1000000 .202
   Scott Rice, P0000000 .000
   Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
   Matt den Dekker, RF1000010 .000
a-lined out for Familia in the 7th
2B - Bobby Abreu (4, Cumpton)
HR - Lucas Duda (6, Melancon)
RBI - Daniel Murphy (20), Lucas Duda (20)
2-OUT RBI - Daniel Murphy (8)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Wright-Murphy-Duda
E - Curtis Granderson (2, Throwing)
New York (N.L.) Mets
Jacob deGrom 6.2500540 1.83
Jeurys Familia (H,2) 0.1000010 3.13
Scott Rice (H,5) 0.2111001 5.56
Jose Valverde (L,1-1; BS,2) 0.2444100 5.66
Carlos Torres 0.2200110 2.76
IBB - Alvarez by Carlos Torres
Pitches-Strikes - Jacob deGrom 122-67, Jeurys Familia 6-3, Scott Rice 14-9, Jose Valverde 28-16, Carlos Torres 25-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jacob deGrom 8-7, Scott Rice 1-1
Batters Faced - Jacob deGrom 29, Jeurys Familia 1, Scott Rice 3, Jose Valverde 7, Carlos Torres 5
Game Information
Attendance - 29309
Game Time - 3:30
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Clint Fagan, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Scott Barry