Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/26/12
NEW YORK -- As time passes, David Wright expects to describe his record-setting hit a little differently than the one that actually put him atop the New York Mets' hit list Wednesday night. The ball the New York Mets third baseman struck to become the franchise's leader was one of the weakest hits on a night when his team busted out offensively. While he had no choice but to absorb his teammates' ribbing during their 6-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field, Wright said he'll do his best to keep his future offspring from doing the same. "You know, I got a chance to show off my blazing speed," Wright quipped of the dribbler down the third base line that went for an infield hit in the Mets' four-run third inning. "Ten years from now, when I'm telling my kids, it's going to be a line drive; it's going to be a little different. But I'll take it. A hit's a hit and (I'm) just really excited I could do it at home. "The fans were great to me, the applause and the post-game sticking around, and cheering for me. That meant a lot. To be able to do it here at home was extra special." The third-inning infield single was the 1,419th of Wright's career, passing Ed Kranepool for sole possession of first place. It was followed by his 1,420th hit an inning later, a more traditional line drive. Wright notched the milestone in half the time of Kranepool, who played 18 seasons to Wright's nine. "Obviously, it's humbling, a little more exciting; we won today," Wright said, a day after he tied Kranepool for the top spot in a Mets' loss. "I got a chance, Eddie came and saw me before the game, wished me luck and just kind of reiterated the fact he's happy for me and excited for me and that meant a lot to me." The Mets also got a career-high-tying four hits from Ruben Tejada, who drove in two runs. Jeremy Hefner (3-7) rebounded well from one of the worst outings in franchise history -- failing to record an out in his last start -- by throwing seven shutout innings. While the Mets were focused on making some team history, the Pirates were officially eliminated from the playoff race, but a piece of their future was ensured. Pirates president Frank Coonelly released a statement Wednesday saying general manager Neal Huntington, manager Clint Hurdle and other key staff would return next year. "Yes, support's always good," Hurdle said, when asked if he appreciated the statement. "Absolutely." Pittsburgh starter Jeff Locke (0-3) gave up five runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings, as the Mets pounded out 14 in the game. "First time through the lineup, he made every pitch that he needed to make and kind of made their team feel off-balance," Hurdle said. "The second time through, he just wasn't executing his pitches the best he can." Wright's milestone hit was not the most impressive, but it earned him a loud ovation from the small crowd. With a run already in on a RBI single by Daniel Murphy, Wright hit a dribbler down the third base line, which was fielded by third baseman Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez's throw was wild, allowing Wright to move on to second. After a brief pause, official scorer Howie Karpin announced "one and one," meaning it was a hit and an error, and the Mets third baseman took his place atop the team's hit list. "Happy for him, obviously," Hefner said, when asked of the reaction in the dugout. He offered a sheepish smile as he added, "I don't think he really wanted that particular hit to be the one played over and over again." Wright stood on second as the scoreboard screen showed a quick montage of highlights, then heard another roar as the camera caught him with a wide smile on his face. The Mets piled up more damaging hits, with Scott Hairston doubling in Wright and Kelly Shoppach singling in another run for a 4-0 lead. Wright had a more authoritative hit with a line drive single in the next inning, as the Mets put together five hits, but managed one run. Tejada, who singled in a run to make it 5-0, was thrown out stealing. Murphy was thrown out at home when Hairston followed Wright's single with one of his own. Hefner, who infamously left last week's 16-1 loss to the Phillies having allowed seven runs without recording an out, started off much stronger Wednesday. He shut out the Pirates for seven innings, limiting them to three hits. "Well, it was huge, huge for Jeremy," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "… He had something to prove tonight, that he can pitch here. I believe he showed everybody he belongs here. I was very, very happy for him. I couldn't have been happier for anybody." NOTES: Mets closer Frank Francisco (right elbow tendinitis) has a "70 percent" chance of getting shut down for the year, Collins said. ... Rookie left-handed reliever Robert Carson was diagnosed with a left triceps strain after undergoing an MRI on Wednesday. He's day to day. ... R.A. Dickey will aim for his 20th win in Thursday's Citi Field finale. ... Pirates second baseman Neil Walker, who has been battling back spasms the past several weeks, could be shut down for the season, Hurdle said. ... Left fielder Starling Marte was back in the lineup after missing four games. Marte injured his knee, but Hurdle said he was more concerned with the outfielder's "sloppy" at-bats.
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