The Mets used four home runs to lead the way against the Pirates and came away with a 6-3 victory at Citi Field on Friday. >> Box score
Five takeaways from Friday's game
1) Jeff McNeil's three-run home run gave the Mets offense the shot in the arm that it needed early on in the game. It looked like it could be a long night offensively, after Pirates starter Dario Agrazal retired the first seven hitters he faced. But Amed Rosario tripled, then Zack Wheeler was hit by a pitch, giving McNeil a chance with runners on the corners and one out and his team trailing in the third inning, 1-0. The left-hander got a slider that he was able to lift just over the wall in right for his 10th homer of the year.
2) Todd Frazier added some power of his own with a solo home run in the fourth, which gave the Mets a 4-1 lead. Frazier took a fastball to the opposite field and powered it over the fence in right-center for his 14th home run of the season. The Toms River, N.J., native is looking to get hot in what has been a tough July for the third baseman, where he's hit just .190/.282/.349 in 63 at-bats.
3) Wheeler returned to the mound following a stint on the IL due to a shoulder impingement and, at times, looked very sharp. He retired the Pirates in order in the first on just seven pitches, but ran into some trouble in the second inning when the first three batters all singled to give the Pirates their first run. Wheeler escaped further trouble in the second, getting the next three batters he faced, and went on to retire 12 straight Pirates before a Melky Cabrera single to lead off the sixth. Wheeler surrendered a two-run homer to Adam Frazier later in the inning and gave way to Robert Gsellman, but the right-hander left with the Mets lead in tact, 4-3.
4) Pete Alonso added a home run of his own to give the Mets a little bit of breathing room after Gsellman came on to keep it a one-run game. The rookie first baseman sent a deep line drive to left-center field for a solo homer and increased the Mets lead to 5-3. Alonso's 34th home run of the season tied him with Cody Bellinger and is just one behind Christian Yelich for most in the majors.
5) Seth Lugo looked dominant in the ninth for his first save of the season. He threw just eight pitches in a 1-2-3 inning to seal the game for the Mets. Lugo has yet to allow a run in 10 appearances in July, striking out 14 over 10.2 innings pitched.
The Mets and Pirates continue their three-game series on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. when Steven Matz (5-6, 4.75 ERA) toes the rubber against Trevor Williams (3-3, 4.96 ERA).