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Escobar hits 3-run homer, Bassitt pitches Mets past Pirates

NEW YORK — Eduardo Escobar hit an early three-run homer, Chris Bassitt pitched six shutout innings for his 14th win and the New York Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1 on Saturday night.

New York maintained its one-game lead in the NL East over the Atlanta Braves, who defeated Philadelphia 4-3. The Mets (92-55) have won the first three games of a four-game series against last-place Pittsburgh after getting swept at home by the Chicago Cubs.

Pete Alonso drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth for his 114th RBI, adding to his NL high.

Mets batters were hit by pitches four times, including Jeff McNeil twice. New York has been plunked 101 times this season, most in the majors and four shy of the big league record set by Cincinnati last year.

Rodolfo Castro’s 10th homer of the season in the ninth prevented the Pirates from being shut out for the 15th time.

Bryse Wilson (3-9) was charged with loss. He allowed four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings and struck out five.