PITTSBURGH -- Ike Davis may be playing himself into watching from the bench Sunday, even with the Pittsburgh Pirates having switched from left-hander Jeff Locke to right-hander Gerrit Cole for the series finale.
Davis, who continues to bat cleanup, went hitless in four at-bats Saturday. He originally was charged with a costly seventh-inning error that later was reversed and scored a hit. Either way, it led to two runs scoring as the Pirates beat the Mets, 4-2, Saturday night at sold-out PNC Park.
New York Mets
The Mets had been 5-0-2 in their last seven road series, their longest unbeaten streak since winning eight straight series in 1999. But that has been snapped with consecutive losses to the Pirates.
Davis is 2-for-20 with five walks in his past five games, including a fifth-inning strikeout Saturday with two in scoring position.
On a tough but makeable play, Davis had a one-out grounder in the seventh off the bat of pinch-hitter Travis Snider scoot by him on the glove side.
Gonzalez Germen finally ended the inning and stranded the bases loaded by entering and coaxing a foul pop-out in his second major league appearance.
Collins for days had planned to start Josh Satin on Sunday, but that was before Cole unexpectedly replaced Locke, who had lower-back tightness.
Start of something: Carlos Torres Day proved a suitable alternative while it lasted.
Given the start in place of Matt Harvey with the Mets seeking to limit their ace’s innings and allow a blister to heal (and, shhhh, start the All-Star Game), Torres took a scoreless effort into the fifth inning. Torres had not started, or exceeded three innings, since a complete game with Triple-A Las Vegas on June 9 and undoubtedly ran out of gas in his final frame.
He departed with a 2-1 lead after escaping a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth by coaxing a double-play groundout from Jose Tabata. Torres’ final line in a no-decision: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. He threw 80 pitches (50 strikes).
Torres, who last had started a major league game with the Chicago White Sox in 2010, now has a 0.79 ERA in 22 2/3 innings as a Met.
At least until Jonathon Niese returns from the disabled list, Torres is due to remain in the rotation after the All-Star break in the spot formerly held by Shaun Marcum. Marcum is due to undergo season-ending surgery Monday in St. Louis to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which led to hand numbness. Niese just started long-tossing this week in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and will need to pitch in rehab games before rejoining the Mets.
Torres had been staked to a 2-0 lead.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis opened the scoring with an RBI double against A.J. Burnett in the fourth that plated Marlon Byrd, who had walked. An inning later, after the Mets appeared poised to waste an opportunity with two runners in scoring position, Byrd beat out a two-out infield single and Daniel Murphy scored.
Aargh! David Aardsma surrendered a leadoff homer to McCutchen in the sixth as Pittsburgh evened the score at 2.
Boo hoo? Wright was booed for a second straight day at PNC Park for not originally picking Pedro Alvarez for the Home Run Derby. Wright tabbed Alvarez as the replacement for Carlos Gonzalez on the eve of the Mets-Pirates series.
What’s next: The Mets and Pirates conclude the first half as Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.60 ERA) opposes the former first overall pick Cole (4-2, 3.68) at 1:35 p.m. Sunday.