What's Your Language?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Preview: Game 153 - Pirates at Mets - Mejia gets the start for Mets

Pittsburgh Pirates (75-77) at New York Mets (69-83) 7:10 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
K. McPherson (R) 1 0-1 2.254.10-02.709/19MILL4.1720-17.13.68
J. Mejia (R) 1 0-1 9.003.10-03.009/15@MILL3.0650-16.09.00

Rookie right-hander Kyle McPherson makes the second start of his career Monday when the Pittsburgh Pirates visit the New York Mets at Citi Field to open a four-game series.

The 24-year-old native of Alabama was a 14th-round pick of the Pirates in 2007 and debuted in the majors with a scoreless two-inning relief outing against the San Diego Padres on Aug. 20.

He allowed just two runs in 11 2/3 innings over seven relief outings through Sept. 14, then was beaten, 3-1, in his initial start against Milwaukee five days later after giving up two runs on seven hits.

In 16 combined innings of work, he's allowed an opposition batting average of .267, walked three batters and struck out 13.

McPherson split time at Double-A and Triple-A this season prior to his callup, going 3-6 with a 3.22 earned run average in 67 innings.

He's opposed by righty Jenrry Mejia, who'll also start for the second time this season.

The 22-year-old Dominican made three starts in 33 appearances while posting a 4.62 ERA in 39 innings for the Mets in 2011.

He debuted in the majors this season on Sept. 3 and threw two innings of one- run relief against Atlanta, then dropped a 9-6 decision at Milwaukee eight days later after allowing five runs on six hits in three innings.

One relief outing since saw him surrender three hits in a scoreless innings against Philadelphia on Sept. 20.

The Mets are 0-3 in games he's pitched and have been outscored, 25-7.

On Sunday in Houston, A.J. Burnett tossed eight outstanding innings as the Pirates snapped a five-game slide with an 8-1 thumping of the Houston Astros in the finale of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park.

Burnett (16-8) allowed one run on four hits while striking out 11 to snap a six-start winless run. Chad Qualls worked a perfect ninth to finish off a badly needed win for the Pirates, who are just 5-16 in September.

Josh Harrison went 4-for-6 with two runs scored, while Jose Tabata drove in two runs and Gaby Sanchez finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

In New York, Ruben Tejada drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Mets a 3-2 victory and a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Tejada singled to left off Ryan Webb (4-3) to plate the winning run for the Mets, who completed their first sweep at home since taking three from the Baltimore Orioles on June 22-24.

David Wright added a two-run homer in the first and Bobby Parnell (5-4) pitched a perfect top of the ninth to earn the victory.

"It's always fun to win," Wright said. "It would be nice to finish on a strong note. You look at what the Orioles did, they finished strong last year and it carried over into this year, so it would be nice to do that."

The Mets won two of three from the Pirates in their lone series of 2012, from May 21-23 in Pittsburgh.

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