Conforto HR in 9th, Mets overcome early gaffe to top Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Michael Conforto hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to complete a huge comeback and the New York Mets overcame an embarrassing gaffe by All-Star pitcher Taijuan Walker to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-6.

Trailing 6-0 in the first inning, the Mets rallied to salvage a rugged weekend at PNC Park. The NL East leaders lost stars Jacob deGrom and Francisco Lindor to injuries, then dropped Saturday night’s game when closer Edwin Diaz gave up a two-out grand slam in the ninth.

Conforto connected off closer Richard Rodriguez.

Walker gave up six quick runs. Three of them scored when he swatted at a slow roller up the third base line with the bases loaded, thinking it was foul.

Pirates swipe 3 runs, Mets bat fair ball foul

Now this was Bucco Bizarro at its best. The Pittsburgh Pirates swiped three runs when Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker mistakenly batted a fair ball into foul territory, prompting a wild argument that got New York manager Luis Rojas ejected.

With the bases loaded and one out in the first inning, Kevin Newman hit a dribbler down the third base line. The ball started out in foul territory, but then began spinning back toward the line. Walker swooped in and swatted at the ball, trying to make contact while it was still in foul ground.

But TV replays showed the ball was touching the chalk when Walker hit it.

The ball rolled toward the Pirates dugout and the Mets didn’t retrieve it as all three Pittsburgh runners scored.