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Pirates score 4 in 9th to stun Mets, take series

First 5 Bucs reach in final frame as Freese slaps go-ahead two-run single
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- This was not the first big situation David Freese had seen, nor the biggest. But it was the latest, and Freese thrived as he has done so many times before.

Coming off the bench with none out and the bases loaded in the ninth, Freese poked a two-run single into shallow right field to put the Pirates ahead for good in a thrilling, come-from-behind, 5-3 win over the Mets at Citi Field on Wednesday.

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NEW YORK -- This was not the first big situation David Freese had seen, nor the biggest. But it was the latest, and Freese thrived as he has done so many times before.

Coming off the bench with none out and the bases loaded in the ninth, Freese poked a two-run single into shallow right field to put the Pirates ahead for good in a thrilling, come-from-behind, 5-3 win over the Mets at Citi Field on Wednesday.

View Full Game Coverage

The win gave Pittsburgh its first road series win since sweeping a two-game set in Chicago against the White Sox from May 8-9. The Pirates had not scored more than three runs in an inning since June 16 against the Rays, and they scored four in the ninth inning on Wednesday.

Austin Meadows' eighth-inning sacrifice fly got Pittsburgh on the board after Mets starter Zack Wheeler scattered five hits over seven scoreless innings. But it wasn't until the ninth that the Pirates finally got something going. Down, 3-1, and with Mets closer Jeurys Familia on the mound, Elias Diaz and Corey Dickerson led off with singles to put runners on first and third with none out. Gregory Polanco crushed a single through to right field to plate Diaz and bring the Pirates within one run. Familia walked Jordy Mercer and was pulled from the game without recording an out.

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Video: PIT@NYM: Polanco singles home Diaz in the 9th

Freese stepped up to the plate facing Mets reliever Anthony Swarzak. Freese is not foreign to clutch situations, harkening back to his heroics in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series with the Cardinals en route to winning the World Series MVP Award and setting a single-season postseason record with 21 RBIs. He delivered right away, flaring Swarzak's first pitch over second base to plate a pair. Josh Bell added a sacrifice fly two batters later to put the cherry on top of a four-run outburst.

"He's another guy that's fighting, that believes in himself and is looking for opportunities to win the game," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Tonight one came to him and it was a big swing for us, and Bell sacrificed on the other side of it to give us a little cushion, but everyone in that inning contributed."

Video: PIT@NYM: Bell lifts a sacrifice fly to center

"We like having him," Hurdle said. "I do believe that you can get the right guys that can help these guys grow, can share experience and share different things that they've gone through and different ways they've come out of things. There is a lot of value in guys that have been around and had to fight through some things and come out the other side."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Starling Marte started the late rally for the Pirates. Coming off the bench to pinch-hit, he led off the eighth inning with a double and then stole third. Meadows' sacrifice fly plated Marte and gave Pittsburgh some hope prior to their ninth-inning eruption.

Video: PIT@NYM: Meadows' sac fly puts Pirates on the board

SOUND SMART
Marte stole his 17th base of the season Wednesday, bringing him two steals shy of 200 in his career. Entering Wednesday, he was tied for fourth-most steals in the National League.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
In the bottom of the second inning, Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco ripped a line-drive laser back to the mound, and Pirates starter Ivan Nova's quick reaction resulted in a catch that ended the inning.

Video: PIT@NYM: Nova uses quick reflexes to catch comebacker

HE SAID IT
"I think it's the toughest spot in our business. With the game on the line. I didn't quite execute on that first pitch, and our team paid the price. All I can do is work on getting better from that pitch on. It is what it is." -- Swarzak, on Freese's go-ahead single

UP NEXT
Right-hander Joe Musgrove will look to get his first win in June on Friday at 10:10 p.m. ET when the Pirates open a three-game series with the Padres at Petco Park. Musgrove has given up 11 runs in his last 8 1/3 innings, and he will make his first career start against the Padres on Friday. He looks to bounce back from his two shortest starts of the season while opposing Padres lefty Eric Lauer.

Erin Fish is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

Pittsburgh Pirates, David Freese