PITTSBURGH (AP) – Jack Wilson singled in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, then hit his first career grand slam in a seven-run seventh to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates past the New York Mets 11-4 Saturday night for their first series victory in a month.

The Pirates won their third in a row after going nearly a month without consecutive victories, following up Friday night’s frantic 5-4, 10-inning comeback win decided by Humberto Cota’s RBI single after the Mets were within one pitch of winning 5-1 in the ninth.

Cota had three more hits Saturday, including a solo homer and a run-scoring double in the seventh. Cota has had important hits in each of the Pirates’ three straight wins, including a two-run homer to beat Philadelphia 2-1 Thursday night.

By taking the first two games of the three-game series, Pittsburgh is assured of its first series win since taking two of three from Tampa Bay from June 10-12. The Mets had won four of their previous five series, only to give back in Pittsburgh any momentum they might have generated by winning three of four tightly played games in Washington.

Pirates starter Dave Williams (7-6) bounced back from his worst start this season, shaking off Mike Cameron’s two-run homer and Cliff Floyd’s solo drive in a span of three batters in the fifth and sixth innings that turned a 3-0 Pirates lead into a 3-all tie. All the scoring against Williams in six innings came on the homers.

Wilson broke that tie after Mets starter Kaz Ishii (2-8) got the first two batters in the sixth. Cota singled and Michael Restovich walked before Wilson singled for the second of his three hits, after beginning the game in a 5-for-28 slump.

Jose Castillo added a two-run single off Heath Bell and Cota followed with an RBI double off Danny Graves before Wilson homered into the first row of left-field bleachers, just over the head of Floyd. A fan who leaned over the railing and began clapping in Floyd’s face was ejected by stadium security before play resumed.

Wilson’s homer was his fifth and raised his average to .229 – more than 100 points below his .332 average at the break a year ago, when he was the Pirates’ only All-Star game representative.

Notes: Pirates rookie Ian Snell pitched a scoreless seventh with a one-run lead. … The Pirates’ Craig Wilson played for the first time since injuring a finger May 6, going 1-for-4 with an infield single and two strikeouts. He was activated after going 7-for-17 with three homers on a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis. … The teams wore uniforms modeled after former Negro League franchises the New York Cubans and the Pittsburgh Crawfords. … Ishii hasn’t lasted past the sixth in five of his last six starts. … The Mets are 18-26 on the road. … Jack Wilson is 8-for-12 against Ishii. … Graves didn’t retire any of the three batters he faced, allowing three runs, after not permitting any scoring in his previous three appearances. … Due to a malfunction, the PNC Park scoreboard linescore could not display the “7” in the Pirates’ seventh.

AP-ES-07-09-05 2154EDT

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