Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - Jose Tabata went 4-for-5 with a two-run homer, an RBI double and three runs scored as the Pittsburgh Pirates received a sharp season-debut from Francisco Liriano in a 11-2 win over the New York Mets in the third test of a four-game set at Citi Field.
The Pirates recorded 16 hits, their second straight day in double figures, and tagged Mets starter Jonathon Niese (2-4) for five runs in the fifth inning to break the contest open.
Jordy Mercer hit a pair of solo homers, Mike McKenry knocked in three runs, Clint Barmes drove in a pair and Andrew McCutchen had an RBI and scored twice in the Pirates' second straight win.
It was a successful first outing in a Pittsburgh uniform for Liriano (1-0), who struck out nine over 5 1/3 innings and allowed just one run on six hits. The lefty signed with the Pirates in February, but was in the middle of recovering from a broken right arm suffered in December.
Niese's struggles continued, charged with the loss for the fourth time in his last five starts. He gave up eight runs on eight hits and lasted only 4 1/3 innings.
New York only had seven hits, with Marlon Byrd driving in a run and Andrew Brown hitting a solo homer in the ninth.