Pirates Rally Snaps Mets’ Six-Game Winning Streak

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PITTSBURGH — Steve Pearce was coming to bat against the Mets with the bases loaded in a tie game, and Pittsburgh teammate Jack Wilson wanted to have a word with the rookie.

“I reminded him he’s been in that situation before,” Wilson said. “It’s important for young guys to know they can come up big in those situations.”

Pearce again delivered against the Mets, hitting a go-ahead single in the eighth inning that led the Pirates to a 5-2 victory yesterday, ending New York’s six-game winning streak.

The loss left the Mets with a 1.5-game lead over idle Philadelphia in the NL East.

Adam LaRoche homered and Wilson hit a two-run double as the Pirates stopped a four-game losing skid.

Last Monday in New York, Pearce’s two-run single in the ninth broke a tie and helped the Pirates rally for a 7-5 victory. The 25-year-old is hitting .222 with 13 strikeouts in 54 at-bats this season, but is 4-for-10 in three games against the Mets over the past week.

“He’s making progress,” Pittsburgh manager John Russell said. “He’s been working with our hitting coach Don Long, and is getting better. He worked to get a good pitch to hit. I’m sure it was a nice boost to get that.”

Pearce’s hit helped the Pirates, who trailed 2-0, record their 29th comeback victory.

“It seems like we’re always in the game,” Pearce said. “If we hang around long enough, we have the ability to get it done.”

Sean Burnett (1-1) got Carlos Delgado to pop out with the bases loaded, ending the Mets eighth and preserving a 2-all tie. John Grabow pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

LaRoche singled with one out in the eighth off Pedro Feliciano (2-3). Duaner Sanchez relieved, and a single by Jason Michaels and an intentional walk to Andy LaRoche loaded the bases.

Pearce followed with a single past the dive of drawn-in third baseman David Wright, and Wilson hit his double.

“We took advantage of a couple of mistakes to push across some runs,” Russell said. “It was a nice win for us.”

Mets starter John Maine, making his second start since coming off the disabled list, pitched five scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked four and was lifted after throwing 96 pitches.

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