May 9, 2013: Baxter's Single in 9th Beats Bucs

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Date: May 9, 2013
Mets starter: Dillon Gee
Mets: 3
Pirates: 2
Winning pitcher: Bobby Parnell
Key player(s): Marlon Byrd, Ike Davis, Mike Baxter
Key play: Davis’s double, Baxter’s single

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Thursday night at Citi Field. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. Mike Baxter hit a run-scoring single in the ninth inning for a 3-2 Mets win over Pittsburgh.

Following a scoreless first, Mets’ starter Dillon Gee shut down the Bucs in the top of the second. John Buck singled against the Pirates’ Jeff Locke to begin the bottom half. Justin Turner followed with a single on which Buck advanced to third base. On his own hit, Turner was out at second via a throw by center fielder Andrew McCutchen to second baseman Brandon Inge. Marlon Byrd hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Buck for a 1-0 Mets lead. Andrew Brown drew a walk and Juan Lagares singled to left field. Locke then retired Gee on a fly ball to right fielder Travis Snider that closed out the inning.

Gee and Locke each pitched scoreless ball from the third inning to the fifth. McCutchen and Garrett Jones got back-to-back singles to begin the top of the sixth. Russell Martin was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Brandon Lyon came in to pitch for the Mets. Pedro Alvarez hit a sacrifice fly to score McCutchen with the tying run. Lyon got Inge to pop out to second baseman Daniel Murphy and retired Clint Barmes on an inning-ending ground ball to shortstop Ruben Tejada. Locke then set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Lyon and Mets’ reliever Scott Rice combined for a scoreless top of the seventh. Andrew Brown hit a one-out single against Pittsburgh’s Tony Watson in the bottom of the inning. Lagares went down on strikes and Ike Davis doubled to drive home Brown for a 2-1 New York lead. Watson got Tejada on a grounder to shortstop Barmes for the third out of the inning. With one out in the top of the eighth, Alvarez homered off the Mets’ LaTroy Hawkins to retie the game. Hawkins followed up with strikeouts of Inge and Barmes to finish off the inning. For the Bucs, reliever Mark Melancon yielded only a single to David Wright in the bottom half.

Mets’ reliever Bobby Parnell hurled a scoreless top of the ninth. Byrd got an infield single against the Pirates’ Jason Grilli to lead off the bottom of the inning. Marlon moved to second base on Brown’s sacrifice bunt. Pinch-hitter Baxter then delivered a single that plated Byrd and brought the game to an end. The Mets had an exciting victory to start the series.