The Mets don’t have one of the NL’s better lineups. You wouldn’t have known it today, though, as they scored ten runs off Bert Blyleven and the Pirates’ top three relievers, sending the Pirates to their third straight loss, 10-8.
The Pirates got a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when two walks and a bunt single by Blyleven loaded the bases for an Omar Moreno sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the third, though, New York knocked Blyleven out with a five-run inning. With two out and a runner on second, the Pirates walked Joel Youngblood to get to their former teammate, Frank Taveras. That didn’t work out because Blyleven walked Taveras, too, loading the bases. Lee Mazzilli singled in a pair and, after advancing to second on the throw home, scored when Richie Hebner hit his own two-run single. Two more singles plated a fifth run, ending Blyleven’s night and bringing on Ed Whitson.
The Pirates started chipping away at Mets’ starter Mike Scott. They got one back in the fourth when Moreno doubled in Dale Berra, who’d also doubled. That made it 5-2. The Bucs then tied the game in the top of the fifth, getting Blyleven off the hook. A leadoff single by Dave Parker chased Scott and brought on lefty Jesse Orosco, who fanned Willie Stargell. A walk and a flyball put runners on second and third for Ed Ott, who singled to bring in a run. Another walk brought up Bill Robinson, batting for Bruce Kison, who’d thrown a scoreless fourth. The Mets countered with righty Neil Allen, but Robinson singled to drive in two more.
The 5-5 tie didn’t last long. Chuck Tanner went to Enrique Romo for the bottom of the fifth, and he gave up a run on a walk, a single and a groundout. The Mets made it 7-5 the next inning on an unearned run. Taveras reached on a force out, stole second, went to third on a wild throw by the catcher Ott, then scored on a Lee Mazzilli bunt single. Mazzilli then also stole second and took third on an error by Ott, but Romo got Hebner to ground out.
The Pirates came back again in the seventh, taking an 8-7 lead. Ott’s double and a pair of walks loaded the bases to Moreno, who singled in two runs to tie the game. Stargell later hit a sacrifice fly to put the Pirates up.
The Bucs’ bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. Kent Tekulve walked Willie Montanez to start the bottom of the seventh and, one out later, gave up a two-run bomb to Steve Henderson to put the Mets on top, 9-8. The Pirates got runners to the corners with one out in the top of the eighth when Ott hit his second double and Berra singled, but Skip Lockwood fanned both Steve Nicosia and Moreno.
The Mets added an insurance run when Youngblood led off the bottom of the inning with a home run off Grant Jackson. That was all the scoring.
Teke suffered the loss, dropping to 2-5. Ott had three hits and Moreno four RBIs. The loss dropped the Pirates into fifth place, half a game behind the Cubs.