Friday, June 27, 2014
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Worley, Polanco pace Pirates in win over Mets

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[June 27, 2014]  PITTSBURGH -- Gregory Polanco and Vance Worley were teammates at Triple-A Indianapolis less than three weeks ago. Now, they are sparking the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Polanco homered and drove in four runs and Worley allowed one run in seven innings to lead the Pirates to a 5-2 victory over the New York Mets on Thursday night, their fifth win in six games.

Polanco went 2-for-3 with a walk and is hitting .338 in 16 games. The home run was the 22-year-old right fielder's second of the season.

"He's a talented young man so I'm humble to have him on the club and the opportunity to write his name in the lineup," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It's a good time for him to be included on our club and he's obviously been making a difference since he's been up here."

Worley (2-0) scattered seven hits while walking two and striking out three. He has given up four runs in 20 2/3 innings spanning three starts since coming up from Indianapolis on June 15 after going 1-5 with a 7.21 ERA in 10 starts with the Minnesota Twins last season.

"It was a very solid body of work, a very professional effort," Hurdle said. "He'll be the first one to tell you he wasn't as sharp as he'd been previously. You saw a man go out there and have to wrestle a little bit and maintain composure, mound presence, and just pound the zone."


Worley knew it would be a challenging night as soon as he started warming up.

"It was a bad bullpen," he said. "I was hoping I used it all up out there and had the good stuff out there (on the mound.)

Mets right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-2) allowed five runs and five hits in six innings with four walks and four strikeouts.

New York first baseman Lucas Duda hit his team-high 12th home run for the Mets.

The Mets drew within 5-2 on back-to-back doubles by second baseman Daniel Murphy and third baseman David Wright in the eighth, but closer Mark Melancon pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save.

Polanco belted his three-run homer, a line shot into the right field stands, on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the fifth inning to increase the Pirates' lead to 5-1.

"I just go up there and fight, fight, fight and try to stay with my approach," Polanco said.

Matsuzaka second-guessed himself for the pitch selection. Rookie catcher Travis d'Arnaud called for a changeup but Matsuzka opted to throw a slider.

"I shook off d'Arnaud and that ended up being a big mistake," Matsuzaka said through a translator. "I apologize to him about that."

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Alert baserunning by center fielder Andrew McCutchen enabled the Pirates to score a run in the bottom of the fourth and move in front 2-1.

With two outs and runners on first and third, first baseman Ike Davis got caught in a rundown between first and second. Before the Mets could tag Davis out, McCutchen raced home.

"You've got to make sure the runners stay on third base in that situation," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "That's more important than the other guy taking second."

Duda drew the Mets into a 1-1 tie in the top of the fourth by slicing his home run down the right field line to lead off the inning.

The Pirates opened the scoring in the first when shortstop Jordy Mercer drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on a groundout by Polanco.

NOTES: New York activated CF Juan Lagares from the 15-day disabled list before the game and optioned INF Wilmer Flores to Triple-A Las Vegas. Lagares was out since June 2 with a right intercostal strain. ... Bobby Abreu got a start in left field for the Mets as OF Eric Young Jr. was rested and manager Terry Collins tried to find a way to juggle six outfielders with the return of Lagares. ... Pittsburgh LF Starling Marte was not in the starting lineup for a second consecutive game after experiencing concussion-like symptoms Tuesday night while sliding into second base in a game at Tampa Bay. The head and neck are no longer a problem, but Marte is still feeling the effects of a jammed right middle finger. ... Pirates LHP Francisco Liriano had a 30-pitch bullpen session, the first time he threw off a mound since going on the DL on June 11 with a left oblique strain. ... New York RHP Jacob deGrom (1-4, 3.75 ERA) will face RHP Brandon Cumpton (3-2, 4.93) on Friday night in a matchup of rookies.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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