NEW YORK (AP) — Pitching with a painful foot injury, R.A. Dickey stood firm until the eighth inning.
Neil Walker hit a two-run single off a game and gritty Dickey to help the Pittsburgh Pirates rally past the New York Mets 5-1 on Tuesday night for their first victory in nine games at Citi Field.
Josh Harrison stroked a tying single with two outs in the eighth to cap a successful major league debut and Pittsburgh got another fine outing from a starting pitcher. This time, it was James McDonald, who gave up his only run on an infield dribbler.
Dickey was even better — until the eighth inning. When he was pulled from the game, he looked disappointed walking off the mound.
"You just start to replay immediately the errors that you make," he said.
McDonald allowed five hits in six innings against New York's depleted lineup before Evan Meek (1-1) worked a perfect seventh. Jose Veras did the same in the eighth and Joel Hanrahan got three quick outs to end it.
Pirates starters have gone 12 consecutive games without allowing more than two earned runs.
The banged-up Mets, meanwhile, reverted to their punchless ways at the plate. After totaling 16 runs and 32 hits over the previous two days, the only time they scored was on Jason Bay's scratch single in the first.
Missing injured sluggers David Wright and Ike Davis, New York has gone 10 games without a home run for the first time since 1979.
"It's a lot to ask of anybody not to make a mistake," manager Terry Collins said about his starting pitchers.
Dickey (2-6) did his best to make the lone run stand up. Knocked out of his previous start by an injury to his right foot, the 36-year-old knuckleballer struck out a career-high 10 and took a two-hit shutout into the eighth.
"I had a good knuckleball tonight," he said. "It was breaking in both directions."
Pitching with a torn plantar fascia, he had retired straight 13 batters before Ronny Cedeno singled on the first pitch of the inning. Dickey set down the next two hitters — sprawling face-first on the infield grass when he dived for a bunt that was caught by first baseman Nick Evans.
But the right-hander grazed Jose Tabata on the elbow with a knuckler and, after a visit from pitching coach Dan Warthen, Harrison lined the next delivery past a diving Evans into right field for his first career RBI.
"My foot was a non-issue tonight," Dickey said. "I had some pain, wasn't unexpected."
Harrison advanced to second on the throw to the infield, making it with a headfirst slide, and the fired-up rookie clapped his hands together hard.
"Yeah, I got pretty excited," he said. "I got pretty pumped because it was a tie ballgame and we had two runners in scoring position."
Andrew McCutchen, who had whiffed his first three times up, drew a walk to load the bases. Walker then lined an 0-2 pitch to center to put Pittsburgh up 3-1.
The switch-hitting cleanup man batted right-handed all night against Dickey, saying that tactic had helped him see knuckleballs better in the past. Walker went 1 for 4 with a strikeout.
"His stuff was just nasty tonight," Walker said.
Dickey said he exchanged text messages in the past few days with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who had a similar injury.
"He gave some advice," Dickey said. "What he had is a little different than what I have."
On the first batter of the game, Dickey darted for first base when Tabata grounded a double down the right-field line. The pitcher said it felt like he got bitten on the foot.
"A few electrocutions tonight, you know what it feels like," he said. "It's not that bad."
Brandon Wood replaced Harrison at third base in the bottom of the eighth and looped a two-run single to left-center in the ninth off Bobby Parnell, activated from the disabled list Monday.
"They did tonight what we need to do — get a two-out hit," Collins said.
Making his big league debut, Harrison also singled in the third inning for his first career hit, and the ball was tossed into the Pittsburgh dugout to be saved as a souvenir.
Generously listed at 5-foot-8, Harrison was called up from the minors Monday when the Pirates placed reserve infielder Steve Pearce on the disabled list.
"It just felt like I had been doing it my whole life. That's how comfortable I felt, you know? Which allowed me to go out there and perform," Harrison said. "It's all I ever thought it would be. Just smiling from ear to ear, and we were able to get a win so it makes it that much better. I can enjoy it."
Notes: Mets SS Jose Reyes, on the bereavement list following his grandmother's death, is expected back in time to play Thursday afternoon in the series finale, general manager Sandy Alderson said.