Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Jose Tabata hit a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth inning, as the Pittsburgh Pirates held on for a 2-1 win over the New York Mets in the finale of a three-game series at PNC Park.
Lastings Milledge added a solo shot for Pittsburgh, which snapped a five-game slide and won for only the second time in its last 14 games overall.
Zach Duke (6-12) won for the first time since beating Colorado on July 27th. The left-hander went seven innings, surrendering one run on five hits with two walks and fanned five. Joel Hanrahan notched his second save.
Carlos Beltran knocked in the lone run with a sacrifice fly for the Mets, who had won four of six entering the series finale.
Johan Santana (10-8) was the hard-luck loser despite throwing his fourth complete game of the season and 13th of his career. The lefty gave up two runs on four hits, struck out nine and walked a batter over eight innings.
“It was a tough one. I made a couple of mistakes and it changed the whole ball game,” Santana said.
Tied at 1-1, Tabata clubbed a 1-0 changeup into the left field seats with two outs in the sixth to give the Pirates a 2-1 edge.
Duke worked a scoreless seventh and Evan Meek followed suit by working a scoreless eighth inning before Hanrahan took over for the top of the ninth. The right-hander allowed Ike Davis to reach with a leadoff single, but recovered to set down the final three hitters and preserve the victory.
“I’m proud of the way we battled to beat one of the best pitchers in the game,” Pittsburgh manager John Russell said.
New York plated a first-inning run to grab the early lead. Jose Reyes reached with a bunt single and advanced to second on a throwing error by catcher Ryan Doumit, then stole third with one out before scoring on Beltran’s sac fly.
Meanwhile, Santana had not allowed a hit until giving up a leadoff single to Pedro Alvarez to start the fifth. After Doumit bounced into a double play Milledge cracked a solo homer to center that tied the game at 1-1.
Prior to the game, New York assigned catcher Rod Barajas to the Los Angeles Dodgers on a waiver claim and recalled outfielder Jesus Feliciano from Triple- A Buffalo. Feliciano grounded out to second to end the game in a pinch-hitting appearance…The Mets won four of their seven meetings with the Bucs a year ago…Duke improved to 4-1 in seven career starts against the Mets.