NEW YORK (AP) — Neil Walker hit his seventh home run in 10 games, a tiebreaking shot in the seventh inning that kept the New York Mets rolling against the Cincinnati Reds with a 5-3 win Monday night.
Michael Conforto and Lucas Duda also homered for the suddenly homer-happy Mets, who won their fourth in a row overall. They returned to Citi Field after connecting 23 times on a three-city road trip.
A year after going 7-0 vs. Cincinnati, the Mets won on a night when ace Noah Syndergaard and the bullpen couldn’t hold an early lead. New York has taken nine straight from the Reds dating to 2014.
Syndergaard came out throwing 99 mph fastballs. The Reds’ plan to slow him also involved speed — they stole five bases with the big righty on the mound.
Starting for the first time since Wednesday because of a bruised thumb, Billy Hamilton swiped two on consecutive pitches to set up the Reds’ first run.
Syndergaard gave up three runs in 6 2/3 innings, striking out nine.
New to the Mets this year, Walker connected for his eighth home run, the most he’s ever hit in a month, off J.C. Ramirez (0-1). The Reds have been tagged for a majors-high 37 homers this season.
Logan Verrett (2-0) relieved after Joey Votto’s RBI single in a two-run seventh tied it. Jeurys Familia closed for his sixth save in as many opportunities.
Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips exited after being hit in the left ring finger by a pitch from Syndergaard. X-rays were negative.
Earlier, Phillips beat out an infield single, giving him a hit in all 33 road games he’s played against the Mets. It’s the longest road hitting streak by a player against the same opponent since Joe “Ducky” Medwick got hits in 46 straight games at Brooklyn from 1933-37, the Reds said in citing the Elias Sports Bureau.
Reds starter Raisel Iglesias pitched five innings, and his line included eight hits, seven strikeouts and a couple of emotional displays. He slammed his glove on the bench after Conforto’s homer, and shouted “no” and fired down the rosin bag following a late walk.
Reds: RHP Homer Bailey (elbow) is scheduled for a rehab start Tuesday for Double-A Pensacola.
Mets: OF Yoenis Cespedes was out for the third straight game because of a bad bruise on his right thigh. He saw a doctor earlier in the day and had fluid drained. Manager Terry Collins said the team would monitor how the slugger feels as the week goes on. … C Travis d’Arnaud left the game with shoulder discomfort.
Reds: LHP Brandon Finnegan (2-2, 3.74) faces the Mets for the first time in his career. He has made four starts this season and given up no more than four hits in three of them.
Mets: RHP Bartolo Colon (1-1, 2.89) has 219 career wins, tied with Pedro Martinez for the second most among players born in the Dominican Republic. Juan Marichal leads the list with 243.