NEW YORK -- Ike Davis went above and beyond with his two-home-run performance Monday night. The way the Pirates hit the ball, he only needed the one.
The Pirates' offense struggled against New York Mets starter Jenrry Mejia and a slew of relievers in a 6-2 loss at Citi Field tonight. The Pirates reverted to the performance they displayed during the first two games of their series against the Houston Astros over the weekend, where they scored one run in each game. They could not build on their eight-run outing Sunday afternoon.
Mejia, making his second start of the season, pitched five scoreless innings and struck out four. The 22-year-old righty had allowed five runs and five walks in three innings in his first start.
Davis hit his 29th and 30th home runs of the season, the first off starter Kyle McPherson and the second against Jeff Karstens.
The Pirates dropped to 5-17 in the month of September, 75-78 overall. They must finish the season 7-2 to record their first winning season since 1992.
Manager Clint Hurdle and the Pirates front office had the chance to evaluate future potential during McPherson's second start of the season. Hurdle said before the game that McPherson, a 24-year-old right-hander, might compete for a spot in the rotation next spring. McPherson pitched well in 12 minor league starts before appearing out of the bullpen for the Pirates this summer.
Andrew McCutchen tripled in the eighth. He went 1 for 3 and his average remained at .336, four points ahead of San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey. McCutchen was hitting .373 on Aug. 1, but entered Monday's game hitting .267 since that point.
The Pirates scored their first run of the evening when Garrett Jones followed McCutchen's triple with an RBI single.
Neil Walker singled, the third consecutive Pirates hit in the inning, but Gaby Sanchez grounded into a 3-6-1 double play to end the inning.
Mejia walked Josh Harrison and McCutchen with one out in the third, but the Pirates couldn't score. Jones grounded to second and the Mets retired McCutchen, but Harrison slipped and fell rounding third. The Mets caught him in a rundown to end the inning.
Mejia threw 72 pitches in the first three innings with two walks and a wild pitch. He left after throwing 96 pitches in five innings.
McPherson walked David Wright to lead off the fourth and fell behind Davis 3-0. Davis took a strike, then hit his 29th home run to left-center field to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.
McPherson (0-2) pitched 4 1/3 innings, the same as in his previous start, and allowed four runs on four hits and three walks.
McPherson walked Josh Thole and allowed a single to Fred Lewis in the fifth before Hurdle removed him. Hisanori Takahashi retired lefty Daniel Murphy, then gave way to Jeff Karstens with two men on. Wright singled to score Thole and extend the Mets' lead to 3-0.
Davis hit his second home run of the game, a three-run shot into the bullpen, to give the Mets a 6-0 lead.
Jose Tabata's RBI single in the ninth inning scored Michael McKenry, who had walked.
Bill Brink: firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @BrinkPG. First Published September 25, 2012 2:30 AM