Pirates lose again, must win out to pass .500
Pirates starting pitcher Kevin Correia delivers in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field in New York.
Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Travis Snider climbs the fence to rob New York Mets' Mike Baxter of a home run during the second inning.
Fans pay tribute to New York Mets pitcher R.A Dickey, who is going for his 20th victory, during a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field in New York.
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NEW YORK -- The Mets are nothing if not fast learners.
Mike Baxter thought he got enough of Kevin Correia's pitch for a home run in the second inning. When he looked up between first and second, he saw Travis Snider, half his body extended above the eight-foot fence in right field, the ball showing just above the top of his glove.
David Wright picked up on the solution: Hit the ball farther.
He did just that in the fifth. His home run carried over the wall in left-center field, well out of Snider's reach. The homer broke a tie, capped a four-run sixth inning and gave the Mets a 6-5 win against the Pirates in their final home game at Citi Field this season.
Snider's catch, one of the finer defensive plays of the season, ranked alongside those from Rajai Davis and Mike Trout in terms of robbing a home run. Baxter hit the ball well enough that Correia hung his head in disgust before even turning to watch.
Snider planted his left leg on the wall to climb it and held himself upright with his left arm. He barely snagged the ball, three or four feet above the top of the wall.
The Pirates now need perfection to reach mediocrity. They must win every one of their final six games to finish with a winning 82-80 record. A 5-1 finish will get them to .500, at 81-81, and 4-2 or worse ensures a 20th consecutive losing season.
Andrew McCutchen left the game in the seventh inning after diving for a ball in center field. He charged toward the infield and trapped Daniel Murphy's soft liner, then threw to second base for the force-out. He remained on one knee, and after manager Clint Hurdle and trainer Todd Tomczyk checked on him, he left the game because of left knee pain.
Wright's home run ensured that Mets starter R.A. Dickey won his 20th start of the season. The knuckleballer's 220 innings led the National League entering the game and his 209 strikeouts ranked second. He struck out 13 Thursday, which tied a career high and was the first time he struck out double-digit batters since Aug. 9.
Rod Barajas spotted Correia a lead early in the game. He doubled to score a run in the second and hit a solo home run, his 11th of the season, in the fourth.
Andres Torres walked to lead off the sixth. With one out, Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy hit consecutive singles, and Murphy's single scored Torres. Wright hit a 2-1 fastball into the bullpen in right-center field to give the Mets a 6-3 lead.
Alex Presley's 10th homer of the season, a two-run shot in the ninth off Jon Rauch, brought the Pirates within a run.
First Published September 27, 2012 4:12 pm