NEW YORK -- In the late inning Sunday afternoon, the matchups worked well for the Pirates.
Some well-timed strikeouts and a good bounce helped, too.
Pedro Alvarez, hitting well during the past few games, delivered the go-ahead hit in the Pirates' 3-2 win against the Mets at Citi Field, their third win in a row.
The Pirates head back to Pittsburgh after winning three out of four against the Mets and taking a game started by Matt Harvey, the Mets' young ace who has dominated the first six weeks of the season.
The Pirates took advantage of their chance in the eighth after lefty Scott Rice walked Andrew McCutchen with one out. Manager Clint Hurdle pinch-hit Gaby Sanchez, knowing Mets manager Terry Collins would counter with a righty, and Hurdle preferred Sanchez against the righty than Garrett Jones against Rice. Brandon Lyon walked Sanchez, but struck out Jose Tabata.
Closer Bobby Parnell entered to face Alvarez with two on and two outs. Alvarez singled to score McCutchen and gave the Pirates a 3-2 lead.
Strikeouts from the relievers kept the score even, and later preserved the Pirates' lead. Justin Wilson walked John Buck with one out in the seventh. He and catcher Michael McKenry appeared to mix up their signs, and Wilson's fastball sailed over McKenry for a wild pitch that put Buck in scoring position. Mike Baxter's bloop single scored Buck to tie the game.
Baxter then stole second and third. Collins pinch-hit for Harvey, sending Justin Turner to the plate, but Wilson struck out Turner to end the inning.
Daniel Murphy doubled off Mark Melancon with one out in the eighth. A semi-intentional walk to David Wright, a passed ball and a stolen base put runners on second and third for Ike Davis, but Melancon struck out Davis swinging.
Lucas Duda then grounded a ball down the first-base line that Sanchez couldn't reach, but it hit the bag and bounced high in the air. Brandon Inge fielded it and threw to Melancon, covering first, for the final out.
Jason Grilli earned his 15th save.
Considering Clint Barmes homered off Harvey and Mets catcher Buck stole his first base since 2009, the odd bounce wasn't all that unexpected.
Hurdle pulled starter Jeanmar Gomez after five innings and 65 pitches because of tightness in his right calf. Gomez took a ground ball off the calf in the first inning, and his calf tightened on him as the game progressed.
Gomez retired the final 10 batters he faced and allowed one run on two hits in five innings.
Harvey entered the game with a league-leading 1.28 ERA and .133 batting average against. In his previous start, he retired the first 20 batters he faced. He threw nine shutout innings, allowing one hit and no walks and striking out 12.
Duda gave the Mets the lead in the second with a home run to center field.
Barmes entered the game with one home run this season, hit off Stephen Strasburg. He hit his second out to left field against Harvey, tying the game at 1-1.
Harvey then walked Starling Marte. With Marte running on the pith and drawing shortstop Ruben Tejada to second base, Travis Snider singled through the now-larger hole on the left side of the infield to put runners on second and third. McCutchen walked to load the bases and Jones' sacrifice fly gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead.
Bill Brink: email@example.com and on Twitter @BrinkPG. First Published May 12, 2013 8:45 PM