Bullpen fails Pirates in 4-2 loss

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NEW YORK — One day after the New York Mets bullpen imploded to cost them a win, the Pirates returned the favor, albeit in a less dramatic way.

Reliever Jeanmar Gomez entered the game Tuesday night in the sixth inning with the score tied, 2-2. He promptly gave up a walk, uncorked two wild pitches and surrendered an RBI single and double to put the Pirates in a 4-2 hole.

The Pirates never recovered and lost, 4-2. They will attempt to win the rubber match at 1:10 p.m. today at Citi Field.

Manager Clint Hurdle said it was an atypical outing for Gomez.

“He’s been on a good roll. Walked the leadoff guy and then got two balls that end up at the backstop and it’s three free 90s,” Hurdle said. “It wasn’t one of his signature outings. He’s been pitching well, keeping the ball down, spinning the breaking ball and throwing the changeup. Things just didn’t work for him tonight.”

The Pirates’ ninth-inning rally came up short when Gaby Sanchez grounded out to the shortstop after Travis Snider had reached first on an error and Andrew McCutchen drew a two-out walk.

The Pirates stranded 11 runners, and went just 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position.

The two clubs now have identical records again, as the result puts the Pirates and Mets at 23-27.

Jenrry Mejia pitched two scoreless innings for his fourth save this season.

The Mets scored in the third and fourth to take a 2-0 lead. But Starling Marte delivered a two-out, two-run single with the bases loaded in the sixth to tie the score, 2-2, after starter Jonathon Niese had walked the three previous batters.

The Mets then turned to Vic Black — the former Pirates prospect who was the player to be named later in the Marlon Byrd-John Buck deal in August.

Black issued a four-pitch walk to Neil Walker to load the bases again before getting pinch-hitter Ike Davis to strike out swinging at a curveball.

“We’ve seen him pitch very efficiently through the minor leagues. That’s a big fastball and a hard curveball,” said Hurdle of Black.

Pirates starter Edinson Volquez went five innings. He walked five and threw two wild pitches before leaving with the Pirates trailing, 2-0. He also allowed four hits and struck out six.

“Walks killed me tonight. Five walks,” said Volquez. “I don’t want to make excuses. I missed. You just have to throw better pitches and make those guys swing the bat.”

According to MLB’s gametracker, his velocity spiked to 98 mph, but Volquez said after the game that couldn’t possibly be accurate.

“That was wrong,” he said. “I don’t know, maybe?”

McCutchen made a diving catch on a Juan Lagares fly ball in the third, which earned him a quick bow and tip of the cap from Volquez.

But an RBI single from Bobby Abreu two batters later put the Mets in front, 1-0.Ruben Tejada scored on a double by Lagares to push New York’s lead to 2-0 in the fourth.

“He left the game, we’re down two runs. It wasn’t like they were runaway walks. He was just off,” Hurdle of Volquez.

“I thought he did a much better job of moving feet, elevating the fastball pitching inside, some breaking balls down, but just enough misses in 104 pitches, five innings. It was a challenge for him, but he kept us in the game.”

Mets had runners in scoring position in the first after a rare error was charged to McCutchen when he collided with Marte as both tracked a fly ball to left-center.

The ball went in McCutchen’s glove and popped out as the two collided, but Volquez got out of the inning unscathed.

Gaby Sanchez walked to open the second, but was doubled off first base after Russell Martin’s line drive to left was caught by Curtis Granderson, who followed with a perfect throw to first.

Pedro Alvarez, who was out of the starting lineup for a night off, entered the game as a pinch-hitter with runners on the corners and one out in the eighth. But he hit into a double play.

Jason Grilli pitched a scoreless eighth, and got three strikeouts after giving up a single to open the inning.

Jenn Menendez: jmenendez@post-gazette.com and Twitter @JennMenendez. First Published May 27, 2014 11:09 PM

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