The Pittsburgh Pirates, pressing to prove that a recent 11-game winning streak was no fluke, will be looking to start another string of wins Saturday in the third game of a series against the New York Mets at PNC Park.
Pittsburgh (54-51) had lost two in a row after their winning streak before scoring a walk-off 5-4 win Friday over the Mets (43-58), who had walloped them 12-6 with 14 hits in the series opener.
"This team came in against us swinging the sticks. You can tell they've got some purpose going," David Freese said of the Mets after he hit a walk-off single in the ninth inning and drove in all five Pirates runs, including a two-run homer, on Friday. "We just kept fighting and got it done."
They did it with a short bench and without outfielders Starling Marte (hand) and Corey Dickerson (hamstring), who are not on the disabled list and could return as soon as Saturday.
"We didn't have a lot of depth," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "That's one thing these guys have done all year long is they show up. Whoever's available plays, and they depend upon one another. If it doesn't get done one inning, you try and set up the next inning for it to get done."
The Mets have won three of four, but are languishing far below .500. They remain a seller going into the trade deadline, and Friday they made infielder Asdrubal Cabrera a late lineup scratch and traded him to Philadelphia for a top Phillies prospect, right-hander Franklyn Kilome.
"It's nothing I can control," Cabrera, scheduled to hit free agency after the season, told the New York Times before the deal. "Whatever they do, they want the best for the team."
The Mets made one other move Friday to reinforce an injury-plagued outfield. They signed Austin Jackson, released recently by Texas, and designated Matt den Dekker for assignment.
The Pirates made a bullpen move, recalling right-hander Alex McRae from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioning right-hander Michael Feliz to Indianapolis.
On Saturday, Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom (5-5, 1.71 ERA) is scheduled to face Pittsburgh righty Trevor Williams (8-7, 4.11).
In his only career start against the Mets, Williams allowed one run in seven inning on June 4, 2017, in an 11-1 win.
Williams has pitched 11 shutout innings in his past two starts, including a rain-shortened six-inning complete game Monday at Cleveland, a 7-0 win.
Williams joked that he was "not counting it" as a complete game, but he took note of beating Indians starter Corey Kluber.
"You want to outduel an ace, and when I saw that I was going to get matched up with Kluber, it's maybe once every three years, once every six years, that happens," Williams said.
DeGrom is no slouch, with 50 career wins and a career 2.77 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He also could be targeted in a trade.
"I've been a New York Met my whole career. I have a good relationship with them and that's not my decision," he said last week. "I've enjoyed my time with them, yes."
He is 1-2 with a 2.14 ERA in five career starts against the Pirates.
DeGrom's record this season has been dampened by a lack of run support. He has 12 straight quality starts (16 overall), including his last outing.
He struck out 10 and tied a season high by going eight innings for the fifth time (third straight), giving up two earned runs and five hits in a 3-2 loss Monday to San Diego.