Saturday, June 28, 2014
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Harrison's 11th-inning hit lifts Pirates

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[June 28, 2014]  PITTSBURGH -- Josh Harrison had one heck of an off day.

The super utility player was not in the lineup Friday night after starting 12 straight games between second base, third base and right field for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Yet Harrison's two-out double in the bottom of the 11th inning gave the Pirates a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets.

Harrison pinch hit in the seventh inning and then stayed in the game at third base. He wound up going 2-for-3.

"I know there's always a chance I'm going to be in there at some point," Harrison said with a smile. "I always keep myself ready to play, just in case."

Pinch-hitter Clint Barmes drew a one-out walk from Victor Black (1-2). After shortstop Jordy Mercer struck out, Harrison hit a drive to the 375-foot sign in right-center field.

It was the third walk-off hit of Harrison's four-year career and helped the Pirates (41-39) move two games above .500 for the first time since April 10. Catcher Russell Martin also had two hits for Pittsburgh.

"It's part of the journey we're on," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "There are different mile markers along the way. We've always held on to fact that our goal is to get better every day as a team and individuals and get a little better every month. We believe we're in the right lane."

Jared Hughes (4-2) pitched two innings for the win as he combined with left-hander Justin Wilson and right-hander Mark Melancon on four scoreless relief innings.

Rookie catcher Travis d'Arnaud had three hits for the Mets, who lost their fourth straight game, and second baseman Daniel Murphy added two hits.

The Pirates loaded the bases in the 10th inning with one out, but right-hander Jennry Mejia escaped that jam by striking out second baseman Neil Walker and getting Martin to fly out to right field.

"We didn't do much during the game," Mets manager Terry Collins said."Certainly Mejia did a great job of getting out of it. Their bullpen did a great job. They got to the playoffs because of their bullpen last year."

Both rookie right-handed starters did not figure in the decision but pitched well as New York's Jacob deGrom gave up two runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings and Pittsburgh's Brandon Cumpton allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings.

deGrom was happy that some recent work with pitching coach Dan Warthen increased his velocity.

"I feel like I'm really throwing the ball well right now," deGrom said.

Cumpton is 3-0 with a 2.97 ERA in five June starts after giving up 11 runs in 3 2/3 innings on May 31 in a loss to the Dodgers at Los Angeles.

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The teams exchanged two-run singles in the fourth to open the scoring.

Mets first baseman Lucas Duda hit one in the top half of the inning to put New York ahead 2-0. Mercer answered in the bottom half to tie it.

The score stayed 2-2 until Harrison won it in the 11th.

"I asked Josh how he enjoyed his off day," Hurdle said with a smile. "I think he enjoyed it a lot."

He certainly did.

"There's no better feeling than getting a hit like that," Harrison said.

NOTES: Mets 3B David Wright was scratched from Friday night's game because of a sore left shoulder and will return to New York on Saturday to have an MRI. He said the shoulder had been nagging him since he stole a base June 13 against Milwaukee. INF/OF Eric Campbell started at third. ... Pirates RHP Jason Grilli was traded to the Los Angeles Angels for RHP Ernesto Frieri. Both pitchers were removed as their team's closer in the last week. ... Pittsburgh will activate RHP Gerrit Cole (6-3, 3.64 ERA) from the disabled list Saturday and he will start against Mets LHP Jonathon Niese (4-4, 2.78). Cole has been sidelined since June 4 with right shoulder fatigue. ... Pirates LF Starling Marte did not start for a third straight game because of a jammed right middle finger but pinch-ran in the seventh inning and is expected to play Saturday. ... Mets OF Chris Young got an increasingly rare start against a right-handed pitcher, playing left field and going 0-for-5 in place of LF Eric Young Jr., as manager Terry Collins wanted to get Chris Young in the lineup after he hit a combined three home runs in two games against Oakland on Tuesday and Wednesday.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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