New York Mets defeat Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-8

PITTSBURGH - Fernando Tatis hobbled home with the decisive run.

Francisco Rodriguez demanded to make amends. And the Mets avoided further embarrassment Thursday. Barely.

Summoned to protect a two-run lead in the ninth in a rainout makeup against the Pirates on the eve of a series in Philadelphia, K-Rod served up a game-tying homer to Adam LaRoche to suffer his third blown save in 24 chances. The Mets survived for a 9-8 win, though, as Ryan Church's two-out single in the...

PITTSBURGH - Tim Redding, in what may have been his ninth and final start before going to the bullpen, had his shortest outing since going the same 2-1/3 innings on Sept. 5, 2007, with Washington against Florida. That day, he bruised his right elbow while trying to field Miguel Cabrera's hard chopper and departed. This time, Jerry Manuel pulled Redding after Robinzon Diaz's RBI double off the wall with one out in the third gave Pittsburgh a 5-0 lead, although the Mets rall...

PITTSBURGH - After twice being caught - and passed - by the Phillies in September, this time the Mets are the pursuers. And Fernando Tatis figures the Amazin's ought to be pretty loose this weekend, after rallying for a 9-8, 10-inning win over the Pirates Thursday to return to .500 and enter the weekend on a two-game winning streak.

"It's going to be more relaxed," Tatis said. "There's been a lot of pressure on us - on everyone."

The Mets went 9-18 in June, their wor...