NEW YORK -- The Mets are 1-0 in the Lamar Johnson era!
Before a sparse but supportive crowd at Citi Field, Juan Lagares delivered a tiebreaking single against reliever Jeanmar Gomez and Daniel Murphy followed with an RBI double later in the sixth as the Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-2, on Tuesday night.
New York Mets
With Jeurys Familia having pitched in three games the previous two days, Carlos Torres having worked on three straight days and Daisuke Matsuzaka still recovering from Sunday’s Game 2 start, Jenrry Mejia converted a six-out save.
Mejia faced runners on the corners with one out in the eighth, but got Pedro Alvarez to ground into an inning-ending double play. He also had two baserunners reach in the ninth. It was the second two-plus-inning save by a Met this season. Torres handled the final 2 2/3 innings of an eventual 7-3 win at Arizona on April 14.
Ruben Tejada went 2-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored.
Niesely done: Working on a two-hit shutout, Jonathon Niese walked the bases loaded in the top of the sixth. Still, with two outs, the southpaw got ahead in the count to Starling Marte, 1-2. On Niese’s 104th and final pitch, Marte then produced a game-tying two-run single in center field.
Niese’s line: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K.
Back in, Black: Vic Black’s 2014 season debut began with the same issue that plagued him at Las Vegas. Despite posting a 1.45 ERA in Triple-A, Black walked 17 (one intentional) and hit a batter in 18 2/3 innings. Tuesday, the ex-Pirate inherited two baserunners from Niese with two outs in the sixth and proceeded to walk Neil Walker on four pitches.
With the bases reloaded, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle had ex-Met Ike Davis pinch hit for Clint Barmes. Black rebounded by striking out Davis to strand the bases loaded, preserving a 2-all tie and closing the book on Niese.
Black -- who came from Pittsburgh in the Marlon Byrd/John Buck trade last August -- continued on in the seventh, allowing a pair of two-out hits before striking out Gaby Sanchez looking to leave runners on the corners.