Mets rally from 7 down for 9-8 win over Pirates

By DAVE SKRETTA | June 2, 2011 | 5:27 PM EDT

New York Mets' Jose Reyes, left, celebrates with teammate Angel Pagan (16) after winning a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Thursday, June 2, 2011, at Citi Field in New York. The Mets defeated the Pirates 9-8. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) — Carlos Beltran's three-run homer started New York's rally from a seven-run deficit and the Mets pulled off their biggest comeback win in 11 years, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-8 on Thursday.

After a tongue-lashing from manager Terry Collins the previous night, New York found itself in a 7-0 hole by the third inning.

Beltran homered in the bottom of the third, then hit a leadoff double in the sixth as the Mets scored four times to tie it at 7. Ruben Tejada delivered a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth and Beltran drew a bases-loaded walk later in the inning.

It was the Mets' biggest rally to win since June 30, 2000, when they overcame an 8-1 deficit by scoring 10 times in the eighth to beat Atlanta 11-8, STATS LLC said.

The often-excitable Collins was especially exuberant as the Mets shook hands on the field, shouting congratulations to his players and slapping them real hard on the back.

The Mets' beat-up bullpen hung tough the final four innings to salvage a split of the four-game series. Jason Isringhausen (1-0) worked the eighth for the win, and Francisco Rodriguez survived Neil Walker's RBI single in the ninth for his 16th save.

It was 7-all when Ronny Paulino led off the Mets eighth with a walk against Jose Veras (1-2), moved to second on a balk and third on a wild pitch. Tejada's sacrifice fly — his third RBI of the game — put the Mets ahead and Beltran's walk gave them an insurance run.

Beltran wound up with four RBIs, Daniel Murphy drove in a run and Jose Reyes provided a spark in his return from the bereavement list for New York.

Walker also hit a two-run homer, Xavier Paul had a career-high four hits and Andrew McCutchen drove in a pair of runs for the Pirates, who had been playing better on the road.

They won their 17th game away from PNC Park on Wednesday night, matching their total from all of last season, and had won seven of 10 series as the visiting club.

The success looked like it would continue early on.

Seven of the first 12 Pittsburgh batters singled off Mike Pelfrey. Unlucky No. 13 was Walker, whose two-run shot in the second inning sliced through winds gusting up to 35 mph and bounced off the billboards overhanging the bullpens in right-center field.

The deep home run gave the Pirates a 6-0 lead through two innings, and they tacked on another run in the third. Dusty Brown drew a two-out walk, advanced to second on pitcher Paul Maholm's base hit and scored on Paul's third single in as many innings.

Things got so rough for Pelfrey that he was booed when he came to bat. The big right-hander allowed seven runs and 10 hits over five innings, despite retiring his final seven hitters.

The Mets hitters bailed him out, though.

Their rally began when Reyes stroked a two-out single in the third. Justin Turner followed with a single before Beltran launched a 1-2 pitch from Maholm into the teeth of the wind, the ball slamming off the facing of the second deck in left field.

New York pulled even in the sixth. Beltran doubled off the wall and Jason Bay drew a walk before Maholm retired the next two hitters. Then things unraveled for the left-hander.

Nick Evans walked to load the bases, and the light-hitting Tejada sent a two-run single into right field. Murphy's pinch-hit RBI single knocked Maholm out of the game, and Chris Resop's first delivery to Reyes wound up at the backstop, allowing Tejada to scamper home from third base with the tying run.

NOTES: Ronny Cedeno has gone 40 games without an error, the longest streak by a Pirates SS since Jack Wilson went 42 games in 2008. ... Mets RHP Taylor Buchholz (right shoulder fatigue) went on the DL to make room for Reyes, retroactive to May 30. ... The crowd was 30,074, much of that kids in the upper decks who were on hand for Fitness and Nutrition Education Day.