Jameson Taillon took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning of his second major league start, dominating the Mets while pitching the Pirates to a 4-0 victory that snapped their five-game losing streak Tuesday night.
Jung Ho Kang and Starling Marte each hit a two-run homer for the Pirates, backing eight efficient innings of two-hit ball from an impressive Taillon. One of baseball's top pitching prospects, the sturdy right-hander held New York hitless until Curtis Granderson grounded a leadoff single in the seventh, squeezing it through the shift between two diving infielders on the outfield grass.
Taillon (1-0) was recalled from the minors before the game when Pittsburgh put ace Gerrit Cole on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right triceps. The touted rookie certainly showed what all the fuss is about, outpitching All-Star Jacob deGrom (3-3) in a rematch with the defending NL champions.
The second overall pick in the 2010 amateur draft, the 24-year-old Taillon featured a 95 mph fastball and sharp curve in the opener of a three-game series between 2015 playoff teams.
Taillon missed the past two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery and a sports hernia operation. He made his long-awaited big league debut last Wednesday in Pittsburgh against the Mets, allowing three runs and six hits over six innings in a no-decision.
The Pirates lost 6-5 in 10 innings, ending their nine-game winning streak over the Mets, and Taillon was optioned back to Triple-A Indianapolis the following day. But once they arrived at Citi Field, the Pirates got back to their winning ways against New York and stopped their longest skid of the season.
James Loney's clean single with one out in the eighth was the only other hit off Taillon, who needed only 91 pitches to get through eight innings. He struck out five and walked one, sending the banged-up Mets to their third consecutive defeat.
Tony Watson worked around a leadoff double by pinch-hitter Matt Reynolds in the ninth to finish the three-hitter.
Marte singled with two outs in the sixth before Kang homered to left-center off deGrom, who fell to 0-3 in eight starts since winning his first three of the season. Pitching in tough luck, the right-hander hasn't won since April 30 against San Francisco.
Gregory Polanco drew a leadoff walk in the eighth, and Marte homered off reliever Jim Henderson.
THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS
There was a moment of silence before the game and both teams wore silver ribbons to honor the victims of Sunday morning's mass shooting in Orlando, Florida.
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
The Mets played a quick video tribute just before the game to Pirates LHP Jonathon Niese, who doffed his cap to the crowd from the dugout. New York traded Niese to Pittsburgh in the offseason for 2B Neil Walker.
Pirates: Back in the lineup for the first time since leaving Saturday's game with a sore left ankle, catcher Chris Stewart had another painful night. He was checked by a trainer after getting clocked in the left jaw by Juan Lagares' backswing in the sixth, then hit by a pitch near the left hip leading off the seventh. Stewart stayed in the game. Pittsburgh already is missing regular catcher Francisco Cervelli, who went on the disabled list Saturday with a broken bone in his left hand.
Mets: Walker (lower back) and slumping LF Michael Conforto (left wrist) remained out of the starting lineup. Conforto struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. ... Lagares (toothache) grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth. ... RHP Zack Wheeler (Tommy John surgery) is getting closer to beginning a minor league rehab assignment. He is scheduled to throw a simulated inning at the team's complex in Florida within the next week or so, and the team hopes Wheeler will return sometime after the All-Star break.
Noah Syndergaard (6-2, 2.00 ERA) pitches for New York against LHP Jeff Locke (5-4, 5.38) in the middle game of the series Wednesday night.