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Seven-Run Fourth Inning Propels Mets

Flushing, NY (Sports Network) – Angel Pagan’s two-run single finished off a seven-run fourth inning rally that helped New York overturn a five-run deficit and hang on for an 8-7 win over Pittsburgh in the third installment of a four- game set.

Pagan finished 2-for-4 while Carlos Beltran added two hits and a run scored, and Jose Reyes hit a solo home run for the Mets, who have won three games in a row for the first time since an eight-game win streak from June 10-18.

Raul Valdes (3-3) grabbed the win despite giving up four runs on four hits and a walk over 1 2/3 innings of relief of starter Jenrry Mejia, who left in the third inning with an acute muscle strain in the back of his pitching shoulder.

Paul Maholm (7-15) absorbed the loss after allowing seven runs — two earned — on seven hits and a pair of walks while striking out one for the Buccos, who have lost six of their last seven.

Andrew McCutchen homered and drove in three runs in a losing cause.

Hisanori Takahashi took over in the ninth protecting a two-run and served up a long ball to McCutchen on his first pitch that trimmed the lead to 8-7. The right-hander then retired the next three hitters to end the game and earn his seventh save of the season.

The Pirates plated the first run of the game in the third on a sacrifice fly by Jose Tabata.

Mejia exited the contest with one out and two runners on in the third after a pitch that made the count 2-0 to McCutchen, who would eventually walk. Mejia gave up one unearned run without a hit while walking two and fanning one.

The visitors padded their lead with a quartet of runs in the fourth.

Garrett Jones started the inning with a single and scored on the first career triple for Pedro Alvarez, who then came home when John Bowker doubled into center. Chris Snyder walked with one out and the runners advanced on a Maholm sacrifice bunt and scored when McCutchen flared a single into right.

The Mets then benefited from some shoddy play by the Pirates to plate those seven runs in the bottom half of the frame.

Carlos Beltran and David Wright strung together consecutive singles and Ike Davis followed with a double to right-center. Nick Evans walked to load the bases prior to a base hit by Mike Hessman that chased home Wright to make it a 5-2 game. Ruben Tejada sent a ground ball to third that Alvarez fielded and threw home intending to get the force at the plate only to have Snyder mishandle the throw, allowing two runs to score and putting runners at second and third.

Cedeno then misplayed a grounder from pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias that let the tying run to score. A Reyes groundout put runners at second and third with two out for Pagan, who, in his second at-bat of the frame, came through with his base hit to center to knock in both runners to put the hosts in the lead for good.

Beltran followed with another base hit that chased Maholm from the game. Chan- Ho Park took over and walked Wright to reload the bases for Davis, who flied out to deep right to finally end the frame.

Reyes smashed a one-out home run to right in the sixth off Daniel McCutchen to increase the Mets’ lead to 8-5.

Cedeno singled with two outs in the eighth off Jesus Feliciano, who gave way to Bobby Parnell. The hard-throwing right-hander was greeted by Ryan Doumit’s pinch-hit double that chased home Cedeno to trim the hosts’ lead to two.

The last time the Mets swept a series was June 15-17 at Cleveland…They have won all six games against the Pirates at Citi Field since the ballpark opened in 2009…New York is 21-7 when Reyes scores and drives in a run in the same game. He has hit safely in seven in a row…Maholm made his 30th start of the year, reaching that plateau for a third straight season to become the first Buccos lefty to accomplish that feat since Bob Veale did so in seven straight seasons from 1964-70. However, he is winless in eight starts (0-6) since his last victory on August 3 over Cincinnati…Andrew McCutchen has hit safely in eight of his last nine road contests.