September 26, 2012: Hefner Leads Blanking of Bucs

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Date: September 26, 2012
Mets starter: Jeremy Hefner
Mets: 6
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Jeremy Hefner
Key player(s): Jeremy Hefner, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, Scott Hairston
Key play: Mets' RBI singles, Hairston's double

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Wednesday night at Citi Field. The teams played the third of four games in a series. Jeremy Hefner pitched seven innings of three-hit shutout ball in a 6-0 Mets win over Pittsburgh.

Hefner and Bucs' starter Jeff Locke each allowed only a single over the first and second innings. Jeremy retired the side in order in the top of the third and Ruben Tejada singled with one out in the bottom half. Tejada stole second base and came home on a single by Daniel Murphy. David Wright hit a single and advanced to second on an error by third baseman Pedro Alvarez that allowed Murphy to score. Scott Hairston doubled to drive home Wright and moved to third after Ike Davis's fly out to center fielder Andrew McCutchen. Kelly Shoppach hit a single to plate Hairston for a 4-0 Mets lead. Locke then struck out Lucas Duda to end the inning.

Hefner hurled a perfect top of the fourth. Andres Torres got a leadoff single in the bottom half. Torres went to second base on Hefner's sacrifice bunt and stole third. Tejada singled to drive home Torres and increase the New York lead to 5-0. With Murphy at bat, Tejada was caught by Locke's pickoff throw to first baseman Garrett Jones. Murphy singled and Wright followed with a single against Pittsburgh reliever Chris Leroux. Hairston hit a single on which left fielder Starling Marte threw to catcher Michael McKenry for an out at home on Murphy that finished off the inning.

Alvarez singled to begin the top of the fifth. McKenry popped out to second baseman Murphy and a fly ball by Josh Harrison was caught by right fielder Hairston. Clint Barmes drew a walk and pinch-hitter Jeff Clement went down on strikes to close out the inning. Pirates' reliever Jeff Karstens retired the side in order in the bottom half and Hefner yielded just a single to Marte in the top of the sixth. To begin the bottom of the inning, Torres singled and advanced to second base on Hefner's sacrifice bunt. Tejada hit a single to bring home Torres with the Mets' sixth run of the game. Karstens then fanned Murphy and retired Wright on a fly ball to right fielder Alex Presley for the inning's third out.

Hefner set down all three batters in the top of the seventh. Bucs' reliever Bryan Morris pitched a perfect bottom half and the Mets' Jeurys Familia retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. Pittsburgh's Chad Qualls gave up just a double to Torres in the bottom of the inning and Marte drew a walk to lead off the top of the ninth. Presley followed with a ground ball to Murphy for a double play. Familia then got McCutchen to fly out to right fielder Mike Baxter and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a shutout victory.