Gene J. Puskar
June 08, 2016

PITTSBURGH (AP) Wilmer Flores didn't exactly crush his winning single.

He and the New York Mets didn't really mind.

Flores' pinch-hit blooper with the bases loaded in the 10th inning drove in the go-ahead run in a 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.

Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker opened the 10th with consecutive singles off Cory Luebke (0-1), and James Loney sacrificed. Asdrubal Cabrera was intentionally walked, and Flores hit a flare into center field.

''I wanted to stay up the middle against him but the ball got up on me a little bit,'' Flores said. ''Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.''

Michael Conforto's two-run homer, an eighth-inning drive off Jared Hughes, tied the score 5-5. The Mets won for just the fourth time in 11 games and stopped a nine-game losing streak to the Pirates that dated to 2014.

''It was definitely a big win for us with all things that have been happening and going on,'' said Flores, who has been playing third base regularly with David Wright on the disabled list. ''To come in and win this game is huge for us - we stayed in the game and we kept pushing, and we got a result.''

Addison Reed (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings, and Jeurys Familia pitching a shaky ninth to convert his 35th straight save chance, including 19 this season. He walked three batters around Sean Rodriguez's double-play grounder, then threw a called third strike past David Freese to end the game with runners at the corners.

Cespedes had three hits, and Conforto drove in three runs.

Mets rookie infielder Ty Kelly hit his first career home run. The two-run drive tied the score 2-2 in the fourth against Jameson Taillon, who made his major league debut.

''It was exciting,'' Kelly said. ''I was happy to just get a hit in the first place, but it was a bigger deal because of the score and everything. That was the first thought that went into my head was, `Just tied it up,' which made it that much more fun.''

Taillon, a well-regarded 24-year-old right-hander, gave up three runs and six hits in six innings with three strikeouts and two walks. Pittsburgh lost for the eighth time in 12 games despite sweeping the Mets in a doubleheader Monday.

Taillon was the second overall pick in the 2010 draft, chosen after Washington's Bryce Harper and just before Baltimore's Manny Machado. Taillon sat out the last two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery and a sports hernia.

''It was fun,'' Taillon said. ''I tried to take a step back and take it all in. It was really amazing. The stadium was beautiful. The whole experience was beautiful. Obviously, it's something I'll never forget.''

Mets starter Noah Syndergaard allowed three runs - two earned - and seven hits in six innings. He matched his career high with five walks.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mets: OF Juan Lagares (partially torn left thumb ligament) did not play for a fourth consecutive game but manager Terry Collins said he is gaining strength in his hand.

Pirates: LF Starling Marte (bruised left ankle) did not start for a second game in a row after being removed from the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader. He pinch hit in the eighth and lined out.

KEEPING ORDER

Plate umpire Alan Porter ejected the Pirates' Matt Joyce for arguing a called third strike that ended the seventh inning. He warned both benches in the eighth after Hughes threw a pitch behind Cespedes' back after Conforto's home run.

METS BRING BACK JOHNSON

The Mets acquired utilityman Kelly Johnson from the Atlanta Braves in a trade for minor league right-hander Akeel Morris, and Johnson is expected to join the team Friday night in Milwaukee. As part of the deal, the Braves will pay the Mets $450,000 on Aug. 1 to cover part of the $1,267,760 remaining of Johnson's $2 million salary. The Mets also acquired Johnson from the Braves last season on July 24, and he helped them win their first NL pennant since 2000.

PARTCH SENT DOWN

The Pirates optioned right-handed reliever Curtis Partch to Indianapolis to open a roster spot for Taillon. Partch was recalled from the same club Saturday but did not appear in a game.

UP NEXT

Pirates: LHP Jeff Locke (5-3, 4.28 ERA), who has won four straight starts, is scheduled to face Colorado RHP Chad Bettis (4-5, 5.58) on Thursday as Pittsburgh takes a one-day trip to Denver in the middle of a nine-game homestand to make up a game postponed April 28.

Mets: RHP Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.27) is scheduled to start against Brewers RHP Jimmy Nelson (5-4, 3.43) on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Milwaukee.

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