Luis Torrens plays hero in Mets’ win over Pirates to snap skid

PITTSBURGH — Luis Torrens probably wouldn’t have been part of Saturday’s starting lineup for the Mets if Francisco Alvarez was feeling right, but the team’s starting catcher was still sore.

In a scary moment a night earlier, Alvarez was drilled in the left elbow by a 99 mph fastball from Paul Skenes.

Alvarez remained in the game and subsequent X-rays were negative, but was given most of the day off Saturday.

Luis Torrens’ three-run double proved to be the difference for the Mets. Getty Images

Enter Torrens, whose May arrival in a trade with the Yankees stands among the Mets’ best in-season additions.

Torrens provided the kind of offensive firepower the Mets have come to expect from Alvarez, with a three-hit afternoon that included a three-run double as part of a 5-2 victory over the Pirates at PNC Park.

The Mets snapped a three-game losing streak on a day Edwin Diaz returned from a 10-game suspension for violating MLB’s rules on sticky substances.

Diaz pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.

But it was Torrens’ bat that played loudest.

New York Mets’ J.D. Martinez, center, celebrates with Francisco Lindor (12), and Brandon Nimmo (9) after they scored on a double by Luis Torrens. AP

In addition to his bases-loaded double that accounted for the Mets’ scoring in the third, he singled and scored as part of a two-run sixth.

A night earlier, Torrens was summoned to pitch and retired the only batter he faced in the eighth inning in mopping up a 14-2 loss to the Pirates.

David Peterson, on this day, was removed as he prepared to work through the Pirates batting order for the third time.

David Peterson got the start for the Mets. Getty Images

The left-hander allowed two earned runs on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings.

The outing matched his shortest of the season against the Yankees on June 25.

After loading the bases with nobody out in the third, Pirates starter Bailey Falter departed with what was later termed by the team as left posterior arm discomfort.

Former Mets reliever Dennis Santana entered and struck out Pete Alonso and Mark Vientos before Torrens delivered a bases-clearing double that gave the Mets a 3-0 lead.

Francisco Lindor and J.D. Martinez each walked in the inning, with a single from Brandon Nimmo sandwiched in-between.

Edwin Diaz got the save in his return from suspension. Getty Images

Oneil Cruz hit a two-run homer against Peterson in the fourth that pulled the Pirates within 3-2.

Nick Gonzales doubled leading off the inning, but Peterson’s pick off at second base got the first out.

After getting another out, Peterson walked Joey Bart and then served up the homer to Cruz that smacked the right-field foul pole and bounded into the Allegheny River.

Jose Iglesias stroked an RBI double in the sixth, and Harrison Bader’s ensuing sacrifice fly extended the Mets’ lead to 5-2.

Vientos and Torrens singled in succession to begin the rally before with one out.

After Iglesias’ double, Bader was robbed of a hit on Bryan Reynolds’ diving catch in left field, but the run still scored from third.

After Jose Butto fired 1 ⅔ scoreless innings, Reed Garrett navigated trouble in the seventh.

Garrett walked Andrew McCutchen and Reynolds in succession to load the bases before retiring Ke’Bryan Hayes for the second out on a lunging grab by Lindor.

Derek Shelton of the Pittsburgh Pirates yells at home plate umpire John Tumpane after being ejected. Getty Images

Garrett fell behind in the count 3-1 to the ensuing batter, Jack Suwinski, and threw a pitch below the strike zone that Suwinski took, believing it was ball four.

Plate umpire John Tumpane signaled a strike, and Pirates manager Derek Shelton was ejected for disputing the call.

Suwinski struck out swinging on the next pitch to leave the bases loaded.

Dedniel Nunez worked a perfect eighth before the Mets got the ball to Diaz for the ninth.

Alvarez also entered to give Diaz a familiar target behind the plate.

Diaz plunked Cruz before striking out Rowdy Tellez and getting McCutchen to hit into a game-ending double play.   

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