Williams outduels deGrom, Pirates blank Mets 5-0

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Trevor Williams delivers in the first inning of the team's baseball game against the New York Mets in Pittsburgh, Saturday, July 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

By WES CROSBY, Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Trevor Williams embraced being penciled in against Jacob deGrom on Saturday after pitching opposite Corey Kluber in his last start. Then, as he did on Monday, Williams outdueled one of the better pitchers in the major leagues.
Williams frustrated the New York Mets through six innings, and the Pittsburgh Pirates got to deGrom late in a 5-0 win.
“You want to face the league’s best,” Williams said. “deGrom’s definitely one of the best in the league. You see him maybe once or twice a year and that matchup is exciting. It makes you play up, and I’m thankful for that. … It’s fun, two starts in a row seeing two aces.”
After shutting out the Cleveland Indians in seven innings of a rain-shortened 7-0 win on Monday, Williams (9-7) allowed five hits in six innings with five strikeouts and three walks on Saturday. He hasn’t allowed a run in 17 straight innings since he surrendered three in the third inning of a 17-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on July 6.
Williams has started six of Pittsburgh’s 12 shutouts this season. The Pirates have won 13 of their past 15 games, while the Mets have lost two straight after winning their previous three games.
Pittsburgh’s first run came after deGrom (5-6) began the sixth inning with two strikeouts. Gregory Polanco singled down the right-field line before stealing second. Colin Moran singled to right, scoring Polanco.
David Freese, who had five RBIs in a 5-4 win Friday, pinch-hit in the seventh, grounding out but scoring Jordan Luplow from third. Adam Frazier followed with a double to right, driving in Jordy Mercer from second to make it 3-0.
“They beat me there,” deGrom said. “I made a couple good pitches and they were able to battle me, and find some holes. So, I was frustrated with that.”
Moran drove in Polanco again with a single up the middle in the eighth, extending it to 4-0. Polanco was 3 for 4 with two doubles; Moran was 2 for 4 with two RBIs.
Francisco Cervelli made it 5-0 later in the eighth with a single that scored Luplow.
Williams got out of trouble in consecutive innings, first when he got Devin Mesoraco to ground into a double play with one out and the bases loaded in the fourth. An inning later, he struck out Brandon Nimmo and forced Wilmer Flores to pop up to third, stranding runners on first and second.
“We’re talking about a guy who pitched six innings and gave up no runs,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “It goes back to him finding a way to make pitches, and his ability. … The three walks pushed him into some tough spots, but he was able to make pitches.”
deGrom lost for the fourth time since June 28, when he last won a start. He allowed three runs on eight hits, his most surrendered this season, with five strikeouts in seven innings.
“I think that the guys know they haven’t been scoring runs for him,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “I’m sure they don’t feel very good about it.”
ROSTER MOVES
Mets: INF Luis Guillorme was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas. The 23-year-old rookie has a .172 batting average with four RBIs in 29 games with New York this season.
Pirates: OF Austin Meadows and INF/OF Jose Osuna were recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. Osuna, who hit .196 with two home runs and seven RBIs in his first 23 games with Pittsburgh this season, played first base Saturday.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Pirates: 1B Josh Bell was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain. He left Pittsburgh’s game Friday after playing the first two innings. … OF Starling Marte returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games with a left hand contusion. He hit second and played centerfield. … OF Corey Dickerson was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to July 25 with left hamstring discomfort.
UP NEXT
Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (4-6, 4.33) will have the chance to carry momentum from his past two starts into Sunday against the Pirates. He won each while allowing a combined six runs on 12 hits in 14 2/3 innings pitched.
Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (4-4, 3.90) will look to have another strong start when he faces the Mets on Sunday. In his last outing, Musgrove allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings of a 9-4 win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday.
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