Mets Slide by Pirates, 9-8

Ryan Church singled in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning, and the Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-8 Thursday after overcoming a five-run deficit and then wasting a ninth-inning lead.
Adam LaRoche hit a tying two-run homer in the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez before the Mets rebounded to win the makeup of a June 3 rainout.
New York (39-39) headed into a big weekend series at Philadelphia back at .500 with consecutive wins following a five-game losing streak. The 5-0 deficit was the biggest overcome by the Mets for a win this season.
Fernando Tatis hit a two-run homer among his three hits and scored four times as the Mets took an 8-6 lead. Rodriguez, 21 of 23 previously in save chances, gave up his first tying homer in the ninth since Kevin Millar went deep for Baltimore on July 25 last year.
Opposing batters were hitting .088 against Rodriguez with runners on base this season until LaRoche followed pinch-hitter Freddy Sanchez's infield single with his 12th homer. Rodriguez (2-2) stayed in to pitch a perfect 10th.
Pirates closer Matt Capps (1-4), who had converted 12 consecutive save opportunities since May 15, got the first two batters in the 10th until hitting Tatis with a pitch. Tatis stole second, and Church lined a single into center for the Mets' 15th hit.
Pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy began the comeback with a two-run single off Paul Maholm in the fourth after the Pirates opened the early lead against Tim Redding. Jeremy Reed, also pinch-hitting, gave the Mets the lead for the first time with a sacrifice fly that made it 6-5 and finished off a four-run fifth inning.
Tatis added a two-run homer an inning later off Jeff Karstens, but Garrett Jones cut the Pirates' deficit to 8-6 with a solo homer in the seventh. Jones, called up from the minors two days earlier, had three hits and was a single short of the cycle.
Alex Cora and Nick Evans each had two hits for the Mets, who scored only 13 runs in their previous six games.
The weary Mets probably didn't want to play a makeup game that was their 17th in as many days. It was the first time they have traveled to play one regular-season game since beating the Reds in a one-game playoff on Oct. 4, 1999 _ and they had to go to a city where they were outscored 22-12 while losing three games from June 1-4.
Maholm was 3-1 with 1.96 ERA in six home starts only to allow six runs and 11 hits in 4 1-3 innings. He quickly got into trouble in the fifth when Cora doubled ahead of singles by Wright and Gary Sheffield that cut the Pirates' lead to 5-3. Run-scoring singles by Church and Evans tied it.
Redding, who may be bumped from the rotation after Oliver Perez makes a rehabilitation start on Friday at Triple-A Buffalo, gave up five runs and six hits in 2 1-3 innings, raising his ERA to 6.99.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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