Marcus Stroman's debut with the New York Mets didn't quite go as planned. Wilson Ramos made sure it didn't matter.
Stroman, acquired in a trade with Toronto last Sunday, allowed three runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 sometimes shaky innings but received a no decision when the Mets pounced on Pittsburgh’s bullpen.
New York trailed 3-1 in the seventh when Jeff McNeil hit a pinch-hit solo home run to get the Mets within a run. Robinson Canó doubled off Kyle Crick (3-6) leading off the eighth and Ramos followed with a shot to the seats in right-center field to put New York in front. Ramos provided insurance in the ninth when his drive to the Clemente Wall in right field off Chris Stratton cleared the bases.
Ramos finished 4 for 5 with a career-high six RBIs for New York, which won for the ninth time in 11 games. Amed Rosario added three hits for the Mets. Justin Wilson (3-1) earned the victory by pitching a scoreless seventh.
Bryan Reynolds had four hits for Pittsburgh. Starling Marte went 3 for 5, including a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth off Mets closer Edwin Díaz to get the Pirates within two. Díaz struck out the last two batters to end it.
The Mets acquired Stroman last Sunday in exchange for pitching prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson, a surprisingly aggressive move for a team that hasn’t been above .500 since mid-May and found itself on the fringe of the NL wild-card race as the trade deadline neared. The deal gave New York a needed jolt, and the Mets arrived in Pittsburgh riding a seven-game winning streak that ended in an 8-4 loss on Friday night, just their sixth since the All-Star break.
Stroman grew up on Long Island about 50 miles from Citi Field. A first-time All-Star this season for Toronto, Stroman welcomed the pressure of playing for a team where the pressure to win is unrelenting.
Still, he looked jittery early. His new teammates handed him the lead before he threw his first pitch as a Met thanks to an RBI-single by Ramos and Stroman immediately gave it right back.
The Pirates welcomed the 5-foot-7 right-hander to the National League by ripping four straight singles before Stroman managed to record his first out. Marte’s sharp single tied the game and Stroman walked in a run when José Osuna held on a borderline full count pitch to force home Reynolds.
In all Stroman needed 35 pitches to get through the first inning. He eventually settled down to retire eight straight at one point but was lifted after walking Josh Bell to put runners on first and second with one out in the fifth. Reliever Luis Avila?n came on to put out the fire but Pittsburgh pushed its advantage to 3-1 when Avila?n hit Kevin Newman with a pitch to force in a run.
Stroman’s debut with the Mets came on the same night Pittsburgh starter Chris Archer celebrated his one-year anniversary in Pittsburgh. Archer received a standing ovation after earning a victory over St. Louis in his debut with the Pirates on Aug. 3, 2018, a nod to the optimism the trade to bring him over brought to a young club trying to stay competitive in the NL Central.
Things haven’t exactly gone as planned.
Archer has struggled to find any sort of consistency with the Pirates and headed to the mound winless in his last nine starts. While Archer’s winless streak continued, he overcame a shaky 33-pitch first inning to work six innings, giving up one run on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Archer also kept the ball in the park, a rarity for a pitcher who led the National League in home runs allowed (25) entering Saturday.
Archer’s sharp performance wasn’t enough to keep Pittsburgh from falling to 4-17 since the All-Star break.
The Mets recalled RHP Jacob Rhame from Triple-A Syracuse and sent down RHP Tyler Bashlor. Bashlor allowed a three-run home run to Marte in Friday night’s loss and has surrendered six runs overall in his last two appearances. … Claimed LHP Donnie Hart from Milwaukee and optioned him to Syracuse.
Noah Syndergaard (7-5, 4.10 ERA) has thrown at least seven innings in each of his last four starts, striking out 36 against just seven walks.
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