Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/25/12
NEW YORK -- David Wright tied the New York Mets' all-time hits record in style, driving in half of their runs Tuesday, but it wasn't enough. Pedro Alvarez homered and drove in four runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates used a pair of big innings early and some late tack-on runs to pick up a 10-6 win at Citi Field. Wright had three RBI while hitting a homer and a two-run single to tie Ed Kranepool's franchise record of 1,418 hits. Wright did it in half the time of the former Mets' first baseman, who played for the team for 18 years, including their inaugural 1962 season. The current Mets third baseman is in his ninth season and has been considered the face of the franchise for most of them. "Obviously, you like to do these type of things in wins," said Wright, who grew up a Mets fan. "But I'm proud of the fact I was able to tie it and hopefully break it tomorrow. But ... it's bittersweet." Wright tied the record on a sinking liner that bounced just in front of right fielder Garrett Jones to score two runs with two outs in the seventh. That brought the Mets within 8-6 and capped a three-run inning. The Mets put the milestone on the board as the sparse crowd cheered, but reliever Jared Hughes then got Scott Hairston on a groundout to end the inning. The Mets got no closer, ending their four-game winning streak. Wandy Rodriguez (12-13) allowed three runs on four hits in six innings for Pittsburgh, striking out three and walking two. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was impressed at how Rodriguez recovered from a first inning in which he threw 38 pitches. "That was a very impressive performance," Hurdle said of his pitcher's recovery. "That's the most pitches we've had a pitcher throw in one inning all season. ... He settled down. ... He was trying to shave the plate on both sides, and unfortunately, the ball was cutting a little bit back to the middle of the plate. ... "We kind of dumped the two-seamer, and he kind of went with the four-seamer and breaking ball, and (with) much better results." Mets starter Collin McHugh (0-3) was pulled after just 1 1/3 innings. He coughed up seven runs on five hits while walking three and failing to strike out a batter. It was a far cry from his major league debut on Aug. 23, when McHugh gave up two hits and struck out nine in seven innings. He's since allowed 18 runs in 13 innings. "You want to execute real well the last outing of the year," McHugh said wistfully of the lost opportunity. Like many of the other young Mets, he could only look forward to next year. "This offseason becomes super important for all of us." Jones added a two-run homer off Jon Rauch in the ninth inning, his 25th of the year. Wright hit his 20th homer of the season, while Justin Turner hit his second for the Mets. Lefty reliever Robert Carson left the game in the seventh with what the Mets said was a strained left elbow. Initial X-rays were negative, but he will undergo an MRI, the club said. After the teams combined for seven runs and three homers in the first inning, Pittsburgh quickly boosted its lead in the second. The Pirates pushed across three more for a 7-3 lead, with Josh Harrison tripling in two runs before scoring on Turner's error at second base. Pittsburgh made it 8-3 in the fifth against Elvin Ramirez, who kept it from being a lot more. Ramirez walked three batters in the inning, forcing in a run with his base on balls to Alvarez. But with no one out and the bases still jammed, Ramirez retired the Nos. 7, 8 and 9 hitters without allowing another run. Alvarez tagged McHugh with a three-run shot to left-center with two outs in the first for a 4-0 Pittsburgh lead. "Last year, we kept questioning, 'Where was the power? Where was the power? Where was the power?' and the power has shown up in better fashion this year," Hurdle said. "Especially the guys we're talking about here. Those two balls hit tonight (by Jones and Alvarez), those are as good a balls as you're gonna see from left-handed hitters in this ballpark." The Mets pulled within 4-3 in the bottom of the first with back-to-back homers from Turner and Wright. Amazingly, it marked the first time this season the team had hit consecutive homers. NOTES: Mets left fielder Jason Bay would have started against lefty Pirates starter Rodriguez, but he was out due to back stiffness, manager Terry Collins said before the game. ... Right-hander R.A. Dickey will get to choose whether he makes his final start in the regular-season finale or the previous game, Collins said. ... Several Mets icons will gather as part of a fundraiser on Nov. 1 to benefit Shannon Dalton Forde, the club's long-time public relations staffer who was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer recently. Former Mets pitcher Ron Darling will emcee the event, and there will be an autograph session with former Mets Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, John Franco and several other former players. For ticket or donation information, visit www.hopeshinesforshannon.com. ... Alvarez's homer in the first was his 30th of the season. Andrew McCutchen also has 30 homers, giving Pittsburgh the only pair of teammates with 30 homers in the National League. ... The Pirates struck out six Mets, giving Pittsburgh's staff 1,127 strikeouts this season, a franchise record.
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