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Mets take rubber match from Pirates

May 23, 2012 - 8:05 PM Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Jon Niese pitched into the eighth inning, David Wright hit an RBI double and the Mets defeated the Pirates, 3-1, on Wednesday in the finale of a three-game series.

Niese (3-2) allowed one run on five hits over a season-high 7 2/3 innings to earn the win. He walked two and struck out five. Frank Francisco faced the minimum in the ninth for his 12th save of the season.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored for New York, which has won three of its last four, including the last two games of this series.

Charlie Morton (2-5) was charged with three runs on eight hits over seven innings in the loss. Andrew McCutchen had an RBI single for the Pirates, but struck out with runners on second and third to end the eighth inning.

"I think it was a solid outing," said Morton, who has lost four of his last five starts. "Good and bad. You take the positives and you learn from the negatives."

In his previous start, Niese allowed a career high-tying eight runs and gave up four homers in a loss to the Blue Jays. He bounced back on Wednesday, retiring nine straight batters at one point and holding the Pirates scoreless until the sixth inning, when McCutchen grounded an RBI single through the left side.

The center fielder's base hit came on the heels of Josh Harrison's leadoff double, but the Mets had already pushed across three runs by that point.

"I knew that wasn't my best, that last outing," said Niese. "I just wanted to put it behind me and concentrate on fixing what I needed to fix and I thought I did that today."

In the first inning, Nieuwenhuis reached with a one-out single and moved to second on a wild pitch. He advanced to third on a fly out and scored on Lucas Duda's line drive single to right for a 1-0 lead.

Nieuwenhuis added an RBI sac fly in the fifth and Wright followed with a double off the high wall in right to make it 3-0. The inning began with singles by Rob Johnson and Mike Baxter, which placed runners at the corners with one out.

Clint Barmes led off the eighth with a single and Gorkys Hernandez worked a two-out walk. Both runners advanced on catcher Rob Johnson's pickoff attempt, which first baseman Ike Davis failed to catch, but Bobby Parnell struck out McCutchen to end the threat.

Game Notes

Francisco has retired nine straight batters and has converted his last four save opportunities...The Mets now return to Citi Field for their longest homestand of the season (11 games), starting Thursday against San Diego...Harrison extended his hit streak to nine games...The Pirates removed pitcher Jason Grilli from the bereavement list on Wednesday and optioned pitcher Jeff Locke to Triple-A Indianapolis.

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    Mets 3, Pirates 1  Bot 8, 2 OutsMay 23 2:34 PM
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  • Andrew McCutchen singled to left scoring Josh Harrison. Runner on first with one out and Neil Walker due up.

    Mets 3, Pirates 1  Bot 6, 1 OutMay 23 2:06 PM
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  • David Wright doubled to right scoring Mike Baxter. Runner on second with two outs and Lucas Duda due up.

    Mets 3, Pirates 0  Top 5, 2 OutsMay 23 1:41 PM

  • Kirk Nieuwenhuis sacrifice fly out to left scored Rob Johnson. Runner on first with two outs and David Wright due up.

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  • Lucas Duda singled to right scoring Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Runner on first with two outs and Daniel Murphy due up.

    Mets 1, Pirates 0  Top 1, 2 OutsMay 23 12:44 PM

  • NEW YORK: 0
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    Mets vs. PiratesMar 13 11:47 AM