Rick Reed wasn't perfect, but it didn't matter.
Reed won his sixth straight decision and Benny Agbayani and Robin Ventura drove in three runs each to help the New York Mets win their sixth straight game, 7-5 over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.
"He just couldn't nip the edges enough," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said after watching Reed allow four runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. "He got the ball up a little bit, but the bottom line is we got the win and he was with us for it."
"My mechanical problems can't be fixed in one day," Reed said. "I've got to try to get rid of this home run bug. It's a little frustrating to try and enjoy a win."
The right-hander has allowed a team-high 19 home runs on the season.
Armando Benitez walked four straight batters missing the plate on 19 of the 24 pitches he threw with one out in the ninth to cut the lead to 7-5. Turk Wendell came in to get Abraham Nunez to pop out and Brian Giles to ground out for his third save.
"It's a lot of fun to sit there and watch Armando pitch," Wendell said. "But everybody has a bad day once in a while."
The Mets remained a half-game behind Atlanta in the NL East. The Braves defeated Milwaukee 6-1 earlier in the night.
"They have a really good bullpen," said Pirates manager Gene Lamont. "We just didn't get the big hit in the ninth when we needed it. But we had a chance and that's all you can really ask for."
Francisco Cordova (5-5) allowed a two-run single to Ventura and an RBI single to Agbayani in the first inning.
"He was just wild tonight," Lamont said of Cordova. "Especially in the first couple innings, he was up in the zone. He just wasn't down the way he has been."
After Brown's ninth homer cut the Mets' lead to 3-2 in the second, Roger Cedeno hit an RBI single in the third to make i 4-2.
The Mets scored three runs in the fourth inning with the help of four walks. Scott Sauerbeck walked Ventura with the bases loaded and allowed a two-run single to Agbayani.
"I'm getting some good, quality at-bats," said Agbayani. "I'm just trying to come back and help the team win."
Agbayani, a 27-year-old rookie, has been bothered by a hyperextended left elbow for a month.
"Tonight, the only time it really bothered me was when I swung and missed," he said.
Cordova, who had gone 2-0 in his last three starts, allowed six runs, five hits and five walks in 3 1-3 innings.
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