EditorsNote: Adds period in 4th graf, minor additional edits
Steven Matz threw the first complete game of his big-league career Saturday night when the New York Mets left-hander tossed a five-hit shutout in a 3-0 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.
Michael Conforto and J.D. Davis each homered for the Mets, who have won three straight to improve to 9-4 since the All-Star break. The Pirates have lost seven in a row and are 2-14 in the second half.
Matz (6-6), who hadn’t pitched into the eighth inning since Aug. 14, 2016 and completed eight innings just once in his first 89 big league starts (May 25, 2016), walked none and struck out seven while throwing just 99 pitches, including 67 for strikes.
He didn’t allow a hit until Melky Cabrera doubled with one out in the fourth. The Pirates mounted their only threat in the sixth, when Jacob Stallings hit a leadoff double and advanced to third on a one-out single by Kevin Newman. But Matz then got Cabrera to hit into a 5-4-3 double play.
Conforto broke the scoreless tie with a one-out solo homer in the bottom of the inning off Trevor Williams (3-4). The Mets provided Matz insurance in the seventh, when Todd Frazier singled with one out and scored when Davis homered just beyond the grasp of center fielder Starling Marte.
Davis finished with two hits.
Matz allowed just one runner beyond first base over the final three innings and retired the final three batters after Newman’s leadoff single in the ninth. He pumped his fist after retiring Josh Bell on a grounder to short for the final out.
Williams, who didn’t allow a hit until Davis’ one-out double in the fifth, took the hard-luck loss after giving up the three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven over seven innings. It was just the third time in 15 starts this year he’s pitched seven innings.
Newman had two hits.
—Field Level Media