Pirates 6, Mets 5

Humberto Cota finished off a frantic rally with a game-winning single in the 10th inning after Mets closer Braden Looper wasted a four-run lead in the ninth, and the Pittsburgh Pirates stunned New York, 6-5, Friday night.

The Mets, coming off three wins in a four-game series at NL East leader Washington, opened a 5-1 lead on Ramon Castro's homer and RBI single, but one of the league's most reliable closers couldn't hold it.

With Looper (2-4) still on in the 10th, Rob Mackowiak reached on second baseman Miguel Cairo's two-base throwing error with one out and, after Jose Castillo grounded out, the left-handed hitting Daryle Ward was intentionally walked.

Opposing right-handed hitters were hitting only .212 against Looper before Cota lined the single into left field, a night after his two-run homer accounted for the Pirates' only runs in a 2-1 victory over Philadelphia.

Jose Mesa (1-5) pitched the 10th for his first win since Aug. 19 last year.

Pittsburgh had only five hits in eight innings against starter Victor Zambrano but loaded the bases with two outs against reliever Aaron Heilman after Manager Willie Randolph chose to not use Looper in a non-save situation. Looper had converted 19 of his most recent 20 save chances.