NEW YORK (AP) _ Ike Davis connected twice and reached a career-high 30 homers, Jenrry Mejia pitched five effective innings for his first major league win and the New York Mets beat the plummeting Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 Monday night for their fourth straight victory.
Davis had a career-best five RBIs and David Wright had a run-scoring single to move within two hits of tying Ed Kranepool’s franchise record of 1,418 hits.
The Pirates lost for the 31st time in 43 games since improving to a season-high 16 games above .500 (63-47) on Aug. 8. They started the day 61/2 games back in the wild-card race with several teams ahead of them, and now need to win six of their last nine just to finish at break even.
Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen went 1 for 3 with a triple to keep his batting average at .336 _ behind only Melky Cabrera, who is at .346 but has removed himself from consideration.
Davis’ homer to left-center off Kyle McPherson (0-2) in the fourth came after Wright walked. Davis hit a three-run shot off Jeff Karstens in the fifth to make it 6-0, a batter after Wright had an RBI single.
Nearing the end of a lost season of their own, Mejia’s outing has to be encouraging for the Mets. Rushed to the big leagues at 20 years old in 2010, the team’s top pitching prospect went 0-4.
Mejia (1-1) had reconstructive elbow surgery in May 2011 after starting out in the minors.
This was Mejia’s fourth appearance for the Mets this year. He gave up five runs in three innings in his first start on Sept 15 at Milwaukee.
Mejia allowed four singles and two walks Monday. The right-hander struck out four and only his last out was made by an outfielder.
Davis got off to a horrendous start after the 25-year-old slugger missed much of last season with an ankle injury. He was diagnosed with a likely case of Valley Fever during spring training and didn’t lift his batting average above .200 for good until July 4. Still, he has three multihomer games this year, including a three-homer game on July 28 at Arizona, and has connected 18 times since the All-Star break and leads the team with 88 RBIs.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said McPherson needed to be more aggressive in his second major league start. Instead he had trouble finding the plate and was lifted after 4 1-3 innings. He gave up four runs and four hits with three walks. He struck out three.
Garrett Jones had an RBI single in the eighth and Jose Tabata a run-scoring single in the ninth for Pittsburgh.
NOTES: Davis’ first homer was the Mets’ 19th longball aided by the new Citi Field dimensions. The visiting team has 25 such homers since they brought in the fences before this season. — Mets RHP Frank Francisco (elbow tendinitis) has not pitched since Sept. 16 but manager Terry Collins says that because there is no structural damage in the closer’s arm he is still day to day. — Hurdle said there “zero” hesitancy to get Karstens (5-4) another start but he’d like to see Jeff Locke (0-2), Tuesday’s starter, and McPherson pitch, too. — LHP Collin McHugh (0-2) will start for Mets on Tuesday against Locke.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)