Pirates use five-run 6th inning to beat Mets

Joshua Palacios homered as part of a five-run sixth inning and Mitch Keller tossed eight strong innings as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the visiting New York Mets 8-2 on Monday for a split of their four-game series.

Oneil Cruz added a two-run homer for Pittsburgh, which had lost two straight since winning the series opener 14-2 on Friday.

Keller (10-5) allowed seven hits with zero walks and six strikeouts while throwing 107 pitches.

Brandon Nimmo hit a two-run homer for New York, which closed out a 4-4 road trip.

With the score tied 2-2, Pittsburgh erupted for five runs with two outs in the sixth inning. Mets starter Christian Scott retired the first two batters and was replaced by Eric Orze (0-1), who was making his major league debut.

Bryan Reynolds walked and moved to third on Cruz’s single before scoring on Rowdy Tellez’s infield single.

Orze was replaced by Adrian Houser, whose first pitch was lined into the right-field corner by Nick Gonzales and mishandled by Jeff McNeil, allowing two runs to score. Gonzales was credited with a double and moved to third on the error.

Gonzales scored on a wild pitch before Palacios homered to right field. The 374-homer was Palacios’ first this season and 11th of his career.

Scott allowed two runs on one hit with one walk and three strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.

Pittsburgh added to its lead with a run in the eighth inning when Ke’Bryan Hayes scored on Palacios’ groundout.

Scott retired his first nine batters faced before Andrew McCutchen drew a leadoff walk in the fourth inning. After Reynolds flied out, Cruz put the Pirates ahead with a two-run homer, his 14th this season.

Keller was efficient through five scoreless innings, throwing 40 of his first 54 pitches for strikes.

New York pulled even in the sixth inning. Harrison Bader hit a leadoff single, moved to second on Francisco Lindor’s line out, and scored on Nimmo’s two-run homer. The 428-foot homer was Nimmo’s 14th this season.

–Field Level Media