Jonathon Niese bounced back from that miserable start in Toronto with a brilliant game against the Pirates Wednesday afternoon, as the Mets won their second straight in Pittsburgh.
The Mets jumped out to an early lead in the first. Kirk Nieuwenhuis singled and moved to third on a wild pitch and an out. Lucas Duda would drive him in with a single to make it 1-0.
Rob Johnson led off the fifth with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice. Mike Baxter singled to make it first and third. A Nieuwenhuis sacrifice fly plated Johnson, and then David Wright doubled high off the wall in right to score Baxter as the Mets extended their lead to 3-0.
The Pirates finally broke through against Jonathon Niese in the sixth — a double and a single made it 3-1.
Niese was lifted with two outs in the eighth after allowing a single and a walk, But Bobby Parnell was able to shut down the threat, despite those runners advancing to second and third on a pickoff throw from the catcher that Ike Davis mishandled. In all Niese allowed just five hits and two walks while striking out five Pirates.
Frank Francisco seems to be righting the ship — he earned his second straight save on a one-two-three inning. This is an excellent sign.
Mets win 3-1 and take the series from the Pirates. Now it’s back to Citi Field to take on the lowly Padres in a four-game series.