Josh Bell hit a two-run homer and Gregory Polanco also went deep as the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates took advantage of some dreadful defense by the Mets to snap a five-game losing streak with a 6-4 victory Monday night.
In a series opener between tumbling teams, Pittsburgh built a five-run lead and held on to hand the Mets their seventh straight defeat before a mostly quiet crowd of 22,135. The Mets are 6-24 in its last 30 games.
Playing at home has hardly helped. The reeling Mets (31-45) have lost 14 of 15 at Citi Field, falling to 13-25 in their own ballpark this season.
Jameson Taillon (5-6) took a two-hit shutout into the seventh inning before the Mets tried to rally. Consecutive doubles by Jose Reyes and Kevin Plawecki chased Taillon, and a three-run homer by pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores off Tyler Glasnow trimmed Pittsburgh’s lead to 5-4.
Steven Brault entered and threw seven straight balls before recovering to strike out Jose Bautista on a pitch in the dirt. Brault then got Asdrubal Cabrera to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Kyle Crick pitched out of trouble in the eighth, and Elias Diaz provided an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth. Felipe Vazquez struck out the side for his 15th save in 19 attempts.
Two errors in the first three innings by the rookie third baseman Luis Guillorme — known as a slick fielder — led directly to a pair of unearned runs against the Mets starter Seth Lugo (2-3). Josh Harrison hit a sacrifice fly in the first, Polanco had a solo homer in the second and Diaz delivered a two-out R.B.I. single in the third.
After managing only eight runs during their five-game skid, the Pirates reshuffled the top three hitters in their batting order. Pittsburgh won for just the 11th time in 35 games.