Mets score 3 in 7th including go-ahead balk, down Pirates 3-1

Pete Alonso Harrison Bader Mets
New York Mets’ Pete Alonso, right, is greeted by Harrison Bader after Alonso scored on a balk by Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jose Hernandez during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

QUEENS, N.Y. — Good teams find ways to win and the Mets are doing so in almost any fashion nowadays. 

New York rallied for three runs in the seventh inning, including a balk by Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Jose Hernandez to bring in the go-ahead run in the form of Pete Alonso, to secure a 3-1 victory on Tuesday night at Citi Field. It was bookended by RBI doubles from Joey Wendle and Jeff McNeil.

The result continues the Mets’ torrid pace as they’ve erased an 0-5 start to the season with four straight series wins and a 9-3 record over their last 12 games. This is the first time the Mets (9-8) are over .500 since June 3 of last season when they were 30-29.

Brian Reynolds gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning when a check-swing single brought in the game’s opening run against New York starter Jose Quintana, who yielded four hits and three walks with four strikeouts across five innings of work.

The Mets were mystified by Pirates starter Jared Jones — a rookie who went five shutout innings in his fourth career start while allowing just one hit. He struck out seven and didn’t walk any as 50 of his 59 pitches were strikes.

A short leash for the young hurler due to four days’ rest ultimately opened an avenue for the Mets to get back in it. Against Pittsburgh reliever Luis Ortiz, Francisco Lindor walked and Pete Alonso singled to put runners at the corners with one out in the seventh inning for Wendle, who replaced Brett Baty because of left hamstring tightness.

His double scored Lindor and moved Alnoso to third.

In came Hernandez with two outs to try and quell the rally against McNeil, but he balked before even throwing a pitch to score Alonso and put the Mets ahead. McNeil put the exclamation point on the inning with an opposite-field double to left.

While the Mets mounted a comeback, reliever Reed Garrett remained sterling to pick up his second win of the season. He struck out six over two scoreless innings of work before Drew Smith stepped up for the save with Edwin Diaz unavailable because he pitched the previous two days. 

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 against his former team.

Drew Smith got three outs for his fourth career save and first this season. Mets closer Edwin Díaz pitched the previous two days.

For more on the Mets, visit AMNY.com

Read more: Good News: Mets’ Jeff McNeil’s Injury Not Serious, Manager Says