NEW YORK (AP) — Elias Diaz hit his first major league homer and drove in six runs as a late addition to the lineup, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates over the New York Mets 12-7 on Friday night.
Diaz hit a go-ahead, three-run shot off reliever Paul Sewald (0-1) during a seven-run sixth inning. Pittsburgh led 11-7 when New York finally retired the side, a swift reversal after the Mets went up 7-4 with a five-run fifth.
Diaz also had a three-run double off Matt Harvey in the fourth. The catcher got the start after Francisco Cervelli was scratched shortly before the first pitch due to illness. Diaz entered 2 for 12 in six games this season and had just one career RBI.
Lucas Duda hit a pair of upper-deck homers for New York, and Michael Conforto added his 14th of the season. Each team hit three home runs.
The Pirates bailed out starter Gerrit Cole (3-5) on a rocky night for the right-hander. He allowed seven runs and eight hits, including three homers, over five innings.
Diaz’s bases-loaded double was a liner off the base of the wall in left-center, and his homer was a low drive that went out to left.
The backstop also began an inning-ending double play on Harvey’s bunt attempt in the second, deftly springing for the ball in front of the right-handed batter’s box to begin the 2-5-4 effort.
Diaz batted with a runner at first in the ninth but struck out.
Duda’s first homer was a two-run shot in the second inning that landed roughly 10 rows into the second deck. His solo homer in the fifth was a few rows deeper and estimated at 426 feet by Statcast.
Duda has six homers in his past nine games and 10 overall. He has 118 with the Mets, tying Ed Kranepool for 10th in team history.
The upper-deck shots by Duda weren’t the longest in this slugfest. That honor went to Josh Bell, whose 10th homer of the season was projected at 441 feet to right-center leading off Pittsburgh’s big sixth.
Conforto and Duda each went deep during New York’s five-run fifth, and the other two runs that inning came on miscues by Pittsburgh. Former Pirate Neil Walker was credited with an RBI triple after right fielder Gregory Polanco hesitated, dove and missed Walker’s sharp liner, which rolled all the way to the wall. Walker then scored on Cole’s wild pitch.
Harvey was charged with six runs in five-plus innings.
Sewald allowed five runs and five hits while getting only one out in the sixth. The homer by Diaz was the first allowed by Sewald in his big league career. He’d given up three runs total over his previous 20 innings, providing needed stability for New York’s beleaguered bullpen.
Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison hit a solo homer in the eighth, had three hits and also made a spectacular catch in the sixth. The second baseman tracked Conforto’s popup into right field and caught the ball over his left shoulder while sliding to the ground.
Mets star David Wright and general manager Sandy Alderson attended as a baseball field was dedicated to Shannon Dalton Forde in Little Ferry, New Jersey. Dalton Forde was New York’s assistant public relations director until she died from breast cancer in March 2016 at 44.
The Pirates optioned infielder Gift Ngoepe to Triple-A Indianapolis about a month after he debuted as the first African-born player in the majors. The slick-fielding South African singled in his first plate appearance, but batted .222 without a homer in 28 games prior to the demotion.
Pittsburgh also designated rookie infielder Alen Hanson for assignment and recalled infielders Max Moroff and Phil Gosselin.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon pitched five innings in his second rehab start with Triple-A Indianapolis. Taillon is returning from surgery to treat testicular cancer. … Polanco returned to the starting lineup for the first time since being carted off the field Monday with what appeared to be a serious right ankle injury.
Mets: LHP Steven Matz (left elbow) and RHP Seth Lugo (right elbow) will each make their fourth rehab starts Saturday. Matz is with Triple-A Las Vegas, and Lugo with Double-A Binghamton.
Pirates RHP Tyler Glasnow gave up five runs in five innings to the Mets in a 7-2 loss Sunday. Mets RHP Robert Gsellman (3-3, 5.75) has dropped his ERA by a full run over his past two starts, including seven innings of two-run ball against the slugging Milwaukee Brewers last time out.
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