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June 28, 2014

Pirates edge Mets in extra-inning affair

Pittsburgh — Josh Harrison doubled home the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets on Friday night.

Jordy Mercer hit a two-run single for the Pirates (41-39), who moved two games above .500 for the first time since April 10. They have won the first two games of the four-game series.

Pinch-hitter Clint Barmes drew a one-out walk from former Pittsburgh reliever Vic Black (1-2) in the 11th. Mercer struck out before Harrison hit a drive to the 375-foot sign in right-center, scoring Barmes without a throw.

Harrison entered as a pinch hitter in the seventh and squirmed his way out of a rundown in the 10th on a wild play that drew an argument from Mets manager Terry Collins, who thought Harrison should have been ruled out for running outside the baseline.

He was called safe, however, putting Pirates runners at second and third with none out. Jenrry Mejia pitched out of the jam by getting two strikeouts and a fly to right.

Black, acquired from the Pirates late last season in a trade, wasn’t as fortunate in the 11th.

Harrison and teammate Russell Martin each had two hits. Jared Hughes (4-2) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

Lucas Duda hit a two-run single and rookie Travis d’Arnaud had three hits for the Mets, who played without seven-time All-Star David Wright.

The third baseman was scratched about 90 minutes before the first pitch with a sore left shoulder and will return to New York today for an MRI.

Wright, riding a 10-game hitting streak, said the shoulder has been nagging him for a couple of weeks.

Both rookie starters did not figure in the decision but pitched well. New York’s Jacob deGrom gave up two runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. Pittsburgh’s Brandon Cumpton allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings.

Cumpton is 3-0 with a 2.97 ERA in five June starts after giving up 11 runs in 3 2-3 innings on May 31 in a loss at Dodger Stadium.

Earlier in the day, the Pirates traded RHP Jason Grilli to the Los Angeles Angels for RHP Ernesto Frieri. Both pitchers were removed as their team’s closer on May 20.

“Obviously we’re trying to get a bullpen with some chemistry and upgrade it,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, “and I think Jason Grilli is a guy who can hopefully come in and fill a role, and if he pitches as well as he did last year he could be really important to us.”

The 37-year-old Grilli was struggled with his command this season, and was 0-2 with a 4.87 ERA and 11 saves in 22 appearances.

But he was pivotal to the Pirates’ resurgence last year, when he piled up 33 saves and had a 2.70 ERA in helping the club to a 94-68 record.

“It’s a difficult trade to make from the standpoint that Jason had a good run here, and did a lot for our franchise both on and off the field,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said.

“He’s loved by a lot of guys in the clubhouse and a lot of fans.”

Grilli is expected to join the Angels in Kansas City today.

“Much like Ernie, he struggled with some things here and there this year after a terrific year last year,” Scioscia said.

“Once he gets settled and we can evaluate exactly where he is and where his role is going to be to make us as deep as we can be, we’ll have a better idea.”

Frieri had a career-best 37 saves for the Angels last year, but the 28-year-old right-hander is just 0-3 with 6.39 ERA and 11 saves in 34 appearances this season.

The final straw may have come the previous night in Los Angeles, when he loaded the bases in the ninth inning against Minnesota.

Joe Smith relieved him and gave up a bases-clearing double but bounced back to strike out Kendrys Morales to preserve the 6-4 victory.

Frieri has allowed at least one run in four of his last five appearances, and while he’s thrown six shutout frames in the eighth inning, he has a 7.92 ERA in the ninth inning or later.

 

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