Mets rally in 7th and score the go-ahead run on a balk for a 3-1 victory over the Pirates

NEW YORK -- — Jose Hernandez balked home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, Jeff McNeil added an RBI double and the New York Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Joey Wendle came off the bench and delivered a tying double for the Mets, who have won nine of 12 following an 0-5 start to move over .500 for the first time since early June last year.

“It seems like every night it's been somebody different for this team,” Wendle said.

New York came back to beat the Pirates for the second consecutive night and has won four straight series after dropping its first two.

Wendle replaced an ailing Brett Baty (left hamstring tightness) at third base in the top of the seventh and doubled off Luis Ortiz moments later. That scored Francisco Lindor, who drew a one-out walk from Ortiz (1-1) and went to third on Pete Alonso's sharp single to center field.

“That's what you prepare for coming off the bench,” Wendle said. “I was thankful to get the opportunity.”

With two outs and runners at second and third, Hernandez was summoned to face McNeil. But before throwing a pitch, the left-hander committed a balk that allowed Alonso to score.

McNeil then slapped a double to left field, making it 3-1.

Reed Garrett (2-0) struck out six over two scoreless innings in relief of Jose Quintana, who permitted only Bryan Reynolds' check-swing RBI single in five innings of four-hit ball against his former club.

“My team picked me up,” Quintana said. “Right now we find a way to get Ws.”

Garrett, who didn't even make New York's opening-day roster, leads big league relievers with 17 strikeouts this season.

“Whatever he's been doing, keep it going, bro,” Quintana said.

Jorge López worked a 1-2-3 eighth and Drew Smith struck out two in a perfect ninth for his fourth career save and first this season. Mets closer Edwin Díaz pitched the previous two days.

It was the latest outstanding performance by a New York bullpen that began the day leading the National League in strikeouts.

“I think as a collective unit, we're all pretty close,” Garrett said.

Pirates rookie Jared Jones fired five shutout innings in his fourth major league start, throwing 50 of 59 pitches for strikes. He struck out seven, walked none and allowed just one hit.

Pitching on four days' rest for the first time in the majors, the 22-year-old Jones was pulled by manager Derek Shelton after five innings as planned.

“This kid’s really important to us,” Shelton said. “It was something we had, going in, predetermined.”

Jones understood the decision.

“Do you want to see me down the road or do you want to see me get shut down?” he said. “It’s awesome that they’re looking out for me and my health.”

The crowd of 18,398 was the fifth under 20,000 in 10 home dates at Citi Field this season.


Pirates: Gold Glove 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes was scratched from the lineup because of tightness in his lower back. ... C Yasmani Grandal (left foot plantar fasciitis) was scheduled to play four or five innings in his first rehab game at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Mets: Baty is day to day and no imaging is planned. He tweaked his hamstring lunging for first base while trying to beat out a grounder. “I'm just glad I caught it early,” he said. “I don't think it's much right now.” ... After receiving an injection last week, DH J.D. Martinez (lower back tightness) has resumed swinging a bat at the club's complex in Florida. But he's unlikely to make his Mets debut until at least April 26 when the team returns from a West Coast trip, manager Carlos Mendoza and president of baseball operations David Stearns said. ... RHP Sean Reid-Foley (shoulder impingement) is scheduled to make back-to-back rehab outings Wednesday and Thursday for Double-A Binghamton. After that, he could be ready to come off the injured list. ... Stearns said he thinks RHP Kodai Senga (right shoulder capsule strain) will be back soon after he's eligible to come off the 60-day injured list May 27. ... RHP Tylor Megill (shoulder strain) was set to throw from 120 feet.


Pirates LHP Bailey Falter (1-0, 4.20 ERA) starts the series finale Wednesday afternoon against RHP Luis Severino (1-1, 3.00), who is coming off his first win for the Mets last Friday against Kansas City.