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Colon has rare letdown, Mets leave 11 on base in 5-2 loss to Mets

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PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The New York Mets did a good job of putting runners on base. They were terrible at driving them in.

Despite outhitting Pittsburgh 13-8, the Mets lost to the Pirates 5-2 Sunday to drop three of four in the series.

"We left a lot of guys at third base," manager Terry Collins said. "It's just one of those games we didn't get the runs in."

New York had plenty of chances to score, stranding 11 on base in eight innings. But the Mets finished 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position.

Pittsburgh, on the other hand, posted hits in just three innings but took advantage of momentum-shifting swings of the bat against Bartolo Colon, who gave up more than two earned runs for the first time since May 12.

Colon threw 7 1-3 shutout innings against the Pirates at Citi Field May 28 but couldn't replicate his success at PNC Park.

"I just think that because I've already gone against them once they probably prepared so they knew what I was coming with," Colon said through a translator. "They just had the time to prepare to play against me."

Collins said it was "very shocking" to see Colon get hit as hard as he did Sunday.

"I was as surprised as anybody especially after the leadoff hitter rolled over on a ball," Collin said. "I said 'he's got the sinker working today, this could be a quick game.' Then you look up and they've got three."

Collins' counterpart in the Pirates dugout, Clint Hurdle, thought Colon didn't have his A-game as he did when the Pirates visited New York last month.

"He can still compete and win games without it," Hurdle said. "The biggest difference is when balls were left out over the plate today, we put good swings on them."

The biggest swings on Colon's pitches over the plate were a two-run single from former Mets first baseman Ike Davis and a RBI double from Pedro Alvarez in the first inning. Alvarez hit a two-run homer in the fourth.

Josh Harrison led off the inning with a double to right-centre field. Alvarez then crushed an 88 mph, 1-2 pitch from Colon for his 13th long ball this season, extending Pittsburgh's advantage to 5-0.

"I tried to put good contact on it and I was just trying to get (Josh Harrison) over," Alvarez said. "I ended up putting a pretty good swing on it."

Colon (8-6) finished after six innings and yielded five runs on seven hits and a walk.

Pirates starter Edinson Volquez (6-6) worked in and out of trouble, giving up eight hits and a walk in six shutout innings. He struck out a season-high seven as the Pirates took three of four from the Mets.

Left-handers Justin Wilson and Tony Watson each worked a scoreless inning in relief of Volquez.

The Mets scored twice in the ninth against Jared Hughes on Chris Young's groundout to shortstop and Ruben Tejada's RBI single.

Mark Melancon relieved Hughes with two outs and gave up a hit to Daniel Murphy, but Melancon got Curtis Granderson to fly out to right field for his 15th save of the season.

Granderson went 0 for 5 and was hitless in 17 at-bats in the series. Four of Granderson's outs Sunday were flyouts that sent Pittsburgh's outfielders to or near the warning track which symbolized the Mets' frustrating weekend in Pittsburgh to Collins.

"In the last three games he's hit 10 fly balls that he's this far from hitting homers," Collins said. "He's just a quarter-inch off and they become fly balls instead of homers. That's why the game's hard and that's why the game's great. There's no givens."

NOTES Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen was out of the lineup Sunday for a scheduled off day. ... Marte (finger) returned to the starting lineup and took McCutchen's spot in centre field. ... Mets 3B David Wright (bruised left rotator cuff) is scheduled to be reevaluated Monday, and manager Terry Collins said the disabled list is a possibility if insufficient improvement is shown in the shoulder. . RHP Zack Wheeler (3-8, 4.45 ERA) opposes LHP Alex Wood (6-6, 3.07 ERA) as the Mets open a three-game series in Atlanta on Monday. The Pirates are off Monday before LHP Jeff Locke (1-1, 3.74 ERA) will start Tuesday against LHP Wade Miley (3-6, 4.78 ERA) when the Arizona Diamondbacks visit Pittsburgh for three games.

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