- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - All those injuries are taking their toll on the New York Mets’ offense.

Missing five regulars from the lineup, the Mets barely touched Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Jameson Taillon, and New York gave starter Jacob deGrom little support once again in a 4-0 loss Tuesday night.

“Obviously, we have a lot of guys hurt. But, like I said before the game, you’ve got to pick up the guys who are not in there,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “Our lineup is what it is, because this is what we have. So, I’m not going to sit here and complain about it. We’ve got to get it done.”

Collins was back in uniform and feeling better after missing Sunday’s loss at Milwaukee, where he spent a night in the hospital. But his team didn’t look any healthier as it opened an eight-game homestand.

Second baseman Neil Walker (lower back) and slumping left fielder Michael Conforto (left wrist) remained out of the starting lineup. Part-time center fielder Juan Lagares was on the bench with a toothache.

And with first baseman Lucas Duda, third baseman David Wright and catcher Travis d’Arnaud all on the disabled list, the defending NL champions have dropped three straight and six of nine.

“The guys in here are good hitters. It’s just a tough stretch. They’ll be back at it pretty soon,” deGrom said.

Taillon (1-0) took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning of his second major league start, dominating a rematch with the Mets as Pittsburgh snapped its five-game losing streak and won for the 10th time in the past 11 meetings with New York.

Jung Ho Kang and Starling Marte each hit a two-run homer, backing eight efficient innings of two-hit ball from Taillon.

“Threw more two-seamers probably than the other night,” Collins said. “When he got ahead, he expanded the strike zone. So, he pitched like a big leaguer.”

One of baseball’s top pitching prospects, Taillon held New York hitless until Curtis Granderson grounded a leadoff single in the seventh, squeezing it through the defensive shift between two diving infielders on the outfield grass.

The sturdy right-hander from Texas never wavered, though, and promptly got slugger Yoenis Cespedes to ground sharply into a double play.

“The kid’s special,” Pittsburgh catcher Chris Stewart said. “I think this is just the beginning.”

The game was scoreless until Marte singled with two outs in the sixth and Kang homered to left-center off deGrom (3-3).

“Just a fastball, trying to go down and away with it. Left it up over the plate. Other than that, I felt good out there. That’s probably the best I’ve felt on the mound. All my pitches were working,” deGrom said. “It’s kind of a frustrating feeling giving up two.”

The 2014 NL Rookie of the Year fell to 0-3 in eight starts since winning his first three of the season. Pitching in tough luck lately, the right-hander hasn’t won since April 30 against San Francisco.

Gregory Polanco drew a leadoff walk in the eighth, and Marte homered off reliever Jim Henderson.

James Loney’s clean single with one out in the eighth was the only other hit off Taillon, who needed just 91 pitches to get through eight innings. He struck out five and walked one.

Tony Watson worked around a leadoff double by pinch-hitter Matt Reynolds in the ninth to finish a three-hitter that took only 2 hours, 28 minutes.

Pittsburgh has won eight of its past 10 at Citi Field. New York dropped to 8-1 following a scheduled off day this year.

BRIGHT FUTURE

Taillon was recalled from the minors before the game when Pittsburgh put ace Gerrit Cole on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right triceps. The second overall pick in the 2010 amateur draft, the 24-year-old Taillon made his long-awaited big league debut last Wednesday in Pittsburgh against the Mets, allowing three runs and six hits over six innings. The Pirates lost 6-5 in 10 innings, ending their nine-game winning streak over New York, and Taillon was optioned back to Triple-A Indianapolis the following day.

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES

The Mets played a quick video tribute just before the game to Pirates LHP Jonathon Niese, who tipped his cap to the crowd from the dugout. New York traded Niese to Pittsburgh in the offseason for Walker.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Before the game, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson revealed that Wright might need neck surgery to repair a herniated disk. The 33-year-old captain is consulting in California with Dr. Robert Watkins, the back specialist who treated Wright’s spinal stenosis last season. “It’s only one option at this point. We’ll know more in the next few days,” Alderson said. … RHP Zack Wheeler (Tommy John surgery) is getting closer to beginning a minor league rehab assignment. The team still hopes Wheeler will return after the All-Star break. … Conforto struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. … Lagares grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth.

UP NEXT

RHP Noah Syndergaard (6-2, 2.00 ERA) pitches for New York against LHP Jeff Locke (5-4, 5.38) in the middle game of the series Wednesday night.


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