Brandon Nimmo showed some uncharacteristic power by recording his first career multi-homer performance to highlight his second three-hit effort in four outings as the New York Mets defeated the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of their four-game series. The 24-year-old aims to continue his strong surge on Friday when the clubs reconvene at Citi Field.
Nimmo has hit safely in all four encounters this season with Cincinnati, going 6-for-16 with four RBIs and three runs scored for the Mets, who have won 16 of the last 18 meetings between the teams. Juan Lagares belted a solo shot in Thursday’s 7-2 rout to extend his hitting streak to eight games, during which he has four doubles, one triple and one homer. While the Mets have won three of four, the Reds have dropped four of their last five on the road to fall to 25-44 away from Great American Ball Park. Scott Schebler had a pair of doubles on Thursday to improve to 5-for-14 with four runs scored versus New York this season.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati), SNY (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds LH Amir Garrett (3-6, 7.41 ERA) vs. Mets RH Seth Lugo (5-4, 5.00)
Garrett, who played college basketball at nearby St. John’s, will return to the mound for Cincinnati for the first time since June 20. The 25-year-old struggled a bit during his time with Triple-A Louisville before turning in a gem, allowing one hit and striking out 10 over seven scoreless innings in his last outing. “They don’t really remember what you did at the beginning of the year,” Garrett told Cincinnati.com. “If you’re there at the end, it’s a better opportunity for you.”
Lugo has seen a few positives despite permitting six earned runs in 8 2/3 innings over two starts since returning from the disabled list. “Felt like all game I was making pitches on both sides of the plate,” said the 27-year-old Lugo, who allowed four runs on eight hits in a 4-1 setback at Houston. “Wasn’t leaving many pitches over the middle. Executing pitches down and keeping them off balance.” Lugo has kept the ball in the park in each of his last three outings after surrendering two homers in each of his previous three trips to the mound.
1. Cincinnati SS Zack Cozart is 5-for-12 with one homer, three RBIs and three runs scored during his last three games.
2. New York SS Jose Reyes, who had a two-run single on Thursday, has 15 hits and 13 runs scored since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 25.
3. Reds 1B Joey Votto has hit safely in five straight and nine of his last 10 games.
PREDICTION: Reds 4, Mets 3