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Pirates 3, Mets 1: .500 Mark Remains Elusive

Entering Monday night's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the New York Mets had played four straight games with at least 10 hits. They also had won the season series with the Pirates for five years in a row, according to SNY's broadcast. Monday night, pitching owned. Mike Pelfrey was excellent, but Paul Maholm was better, as the Pirates took the final game of the four-game series 3-1. New York had its chance in the eighth to score more than one run, but a base-running blunder cost them

Pelfrey threw one of his better games this year -- seven innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs while striking out six. After Pelfrey allowed three straight singles to begin the first inning, which also accounted for one of the Pirates' runs, he retired 20 of 21. The one batter he didn't retire was Brandon Wood in the bottom of the fifth. He hit a home run to lead off the inning and give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.

Maholm tossed seven innings, allowed just three hits and fanned four. The Mets had their chance in the eighth inning with reliever Jose Veras in the game. Ruben Tejada walked, then Lucas Duda singled to right, moving Tejada to third. Jose Reyes hit a ball to the outfield that Jose Tabata snagged (though from the replay that was questionable), and Tejada tagged up correctly, but Duda got caught cheating -- he looked at the ball in the outfield instead of the umpire, who had ruled it a catch, and he was thrown out at first. This base-running gaffe essentially quieted any late-inning rally the Mets had in them.

Manny Acosta came in for the eighth inning and allowed three hits and a run. Tim Byrdak came in to face the lefty-hitting Xavier Paul and got him to strikeout, but walked Neil Walker to bring in the run and make the game 3-1. Joel Hanrahan was his usual dominant self in the ninth.

The Mets head into Atlanta with a 32-34 record. Jon Niese will take on Jair Jurrjens tomorrow night.

Final - 6.13.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York Mets 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 1
Pittsburgh Pirates 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 X 3 7 1
WP: Paul Maholm (3 - 7)
SV: Joel Hanrahan (17)
LP: Mike Pelfrey (3 - 5)

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