Ruben Tejada drove in 3 runs and was in the middle of key rallies in the 6th and 8th innings to help propel the Mets past the Pirates.  The win salvages a split for the 4-game set, and the Mets improve their record to 26-30.

Mike Pelfrey started this matinee and got roughed up early.  Before the Mets had a chance to bat in the bottom of the 1st, they found themselves already in a 3-0 hole.  2 innings later, it was 7-0, and it looked as if they were on their way to another embarrassing loss.  But in the bottom of the 3rd, they got 3 runs back thanks to a Carlos Beltran home run.

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

With the score still at 7-3 in the 6th inning, the Mets got to within 1 thanks to singles by Tejada and Daniel Murphy.  Then, Pirates catcher Dusty Brown did the Mets a favor by allowing a passed ball, and Tejada crossed the plate for the tying run.  The Mets finally took the lead in the 8th, largely thanks to former Yankee Jose Veras’ meltdown on the mound — he only allowed 1 single, but he walked 4, threw a wild pitch, and committed a balk.  When he was pulled after only retiring 2 batters, the Mets finally had the lead, 9-7.

K-Rod, as always, had to make things interesting in the 9th.  But after allowing a run, he eventually shut the door for his 16th save of the year.

3 Up:

-Ruben Tejada: Only 1 hit, but had 3 key RBIs for the Mets today.  His 1 hit was a big one, too — with 2 outs in the 6th, his 2-run single pulled the Mets to within 7-5.

-Carlos Beltran: A huge 3-run homer to get the Mets on the board, as well as a bases-loaded walk in the 8th.

-The Bullpen: Slammed the door after Pelfrey slogged through another crappy start.  Shutout innings for Tim Byrdak, Bobby Parnell, and Jason Isringhausen played a big role in the comeback win.

3 Down:

-Mike Pelfrey: 10 hits and 7 runs in 5 innings.  Every time he looks like he’s getting his season on track, he’ll throw an outing like this.

-Jason Bay: Another 0-fer, 0-3 on the day.  Ruben Tejada has a higher slugging percentage on the season, and he has 1 career home run.

-Overall Outlook: It was a feel-good comeback win, but the reality is that this team came very close to losing 3 out of 4 at home to the Pirates and falling 6 games under .500.  Can they use this as a springboard win for the season?

On Deck: The Mets continue their homestand and open a 3-game set with the Braves tomorrow.  First pitch is at 7:10 PM.

ATL Lowe (3-4, 4.03 ERA) vs. NYM Niese (4-5, 3.92 ERA)