Bullpen dominates Mets in Reds 5-0 victory


CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds erupted Thursday for four first inning runs against Kodai Senga, Spencer Steer added an insurance solo shot and four relievers made them stand up while cruising to a 5-0 win over the New York Mets, handing them a fifth straight series loss.

Jonathan India, Jake Fraley and Tyler Stephenson each had two hits for the Reds (16-21), who took two out of three in the series while sending the Mets (18-20) to their fourth loss in five games and 13th in the last 17. The Mets have lost five series in a row for the first time since 2012.

On a Cincinnati bullpen day, Derek Law pitched into the second inning, followed by Ben Lively, Lucas Sims and Kevin Herget, who logged his first career save. Lively (1-0), promoted from Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday, allowed four hits with a strikeout over three innings to earn his first win since his rookie season in 2017.

The group didn’t allow an extra-base hit until Francisco Alvarez’s one-out double off Herget in the seventh. Right fielder Henry Ramos threw Alvarez out at the plate trying to score on Francisco Lindor’s single to preserve the shutout.

The shutout loss was New York’s seventh of the season. The shutout win was Cincinnati’s second. The Mets have scored two runs in their last 19 innings.

After giving up two hits over six scoreless innings in his previous start against Colorado on May 5, Senga (4-2) threw 37 pitches while allowing five hits in Cincinnati’s four-run first inning, including four hits and a walk with two outs that produced all four runs. Kevin Newman capped the rally with a bases-loaded, two-run single. The Reds sent nine batters to the plate in the inning.

Senga regrouped to face the minimum nine batters over the next three innings before Steer’s two-out drive in the fifth. The Reds reached Senga for eight hits and five runs with one walk and seven strikeouts.


Mets: Friday’s starting pitcher at Washington remained to be determined, but manager Buck Showalter confirmed before Thursday’s game that it wouldn’t be RHP Max Scherzer, who was scratched from Tuesday’s start with neck spasms. “He threw from 90 feet today,” Showalter said. “He’s improving each day.”

Reds: 1B Joey Votto (left shoulder and bicep surgery) is scheduled to go to Louisville to continue taking live batting practice … RHP Fernando Cruz (right shoulder strain) is long tossing from 150 feet and will be with the team in Miami and Denver and is expected to make at least one rehab start before being activated, but no date has been determined.


Mets: Showalter indicated that RHP Tyler McGill (3-2) could be Friday’s starter against the Washington Nationals. “We’re waiting to see how things shake out a little bit,” Showalter said.

Reds: RHP Graham Ashcraft (2-1) is scheduled to face in Miami on Friday RHP Euly Pérez, who will be making his major league debut.


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