Courtesy of StepOutside.org

Pirates earn league-best 12th shutout win

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Colin Moran adjusts his helmet after his RBI single in the sixth inning Saturday night. - AP

Gregory Polanco slid across home and slapped his left hand on the dirt as the largest crowd of the season at PNC Park let out a collective roar into the night.

"It was like 2015 crowd right there," Polanco raved afterwards. "That’s why I was so excited. ... It was a great night." That first Pirates run off Mets starter Jacob deGrom, the National League ERA leader, in the sixth inning wasn't the end of the celebration, either.

Backed by two RBI singles from Colin Moran, the first of which scored Polanco for the go-ahead run, Trevor Williams pitched six shutout innings and the Pirates scored five runs over their final three turns at the plate to beat the Mets, 5-0, Saturday in front of an announced crowd of 35,900 — the largest at the ballpark since April 22, 2017, when the Yankees were in town.

It was their league-leading 12th shutout, six of which Williams has started, and they've won 15 of their last 18 games for the first time since 1990. The Pirates, now 55-51, six games back in the division and 2 1/2 in the Wild Card race, continue to establish themselves as a threat in a wide-open playoff chase with only two days remaining until the non-waiver trade deadline.

"We’re playing good ball," Williams said. "I feel like we’ve been playing good ball throughout the year. You can say we’re a little streaky and the numbers show that, but when things are going good for us, things are going good — from an offensive side and our side on the bump."

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