EditorsNote: Update 1: write-thru
No argument: Barnhart, Reds storm past Mets
NEW YORK — As he stood next to home plate umpire Shane Livensparger and first base umpire Jerry Layne during the performance of “God Bless America” in the seventh inning Sunday, Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price decided it’d be a bad idea to resume his argument once the song ended.
Good idea. Otherwise, he might have missed something he’s waited three years to witness: a Reds win over the New York Mets at Citi Field.
Tucker Barnhart collected all of his career-high five RBIs in his final two at-bats Sunday, when he hit a tie-breaking two-run double in the eighth and a three-run homer in the ninth, as the Reds stormed back to beat the Mets 10-5.
The win snapped the Reds’ nine-game losing streak at Citi Field dating back to the start of the 2015 season. Cincinnati was outscored 43-16 during the winless stretch, including 18-4 in the first three games of the four-game series that concluded Sunday.
“It’s been almost impossible to win here,” Price said. “This has been one of our absolutely, in the second half, one of our worse series played. Nothing has really gone right. Nothing’s really worked. No facet of our game has been terribly good.”
The Reds (62-82) appeared headed for another loss in New York when the Mets snapped a 2-2 tie in the sixth on Dominic Smith’s leadoff homer and a two-out, two-run double by Jose Reyes.
But the Reds began their comeback just before the argument that bookended “God Bless America.” Zack Cosart’s two-out, three-run homer tied the score at 5-5. Two batters later, Scooter Gennett struck out looking and was ejected by Livensparger after tossing his bat and his helmet.
Price came out to argue on Gennett’s behalf and was engaged in an increasingly spirited discussion with Livensparger and Layne, the crew chief. He didn’t notice the “God Bless America” set-up beginning behind home plate, nor the crowd of 27,590 rising from their seats.
“That was the most interested in an argument that I’ve ever been,” Barnhart said with a laugh. “I was really anxious to see what was going to happen.”
Layne began nudging Price away from the dirt behind home plate. Upon realizing what was going on, Price stood at attention in the middle of Livensparger and Layne and placed his hat upon his heart for the performance.
“I wasn’t going to argue through ‘God Bless America,’ I can tell you that,” Price said.
Once the song was over, Price had a more congenial conversation with Layne before heading back into the dugout.
“‘God Bless America’ gave me time to realize that was not a time to get ejected,” Price said. “At that point in time, it’s a ballgame. We’ve got to do what we can to try to win a game and I wanted to be there for that. It was probably good timing for the song.”
Price and the Reds benefited from a call by the umpires in the eighth, when Barnhart’s go-ahead double initially only scored Eugenio Suarez from second. Scott Schebler, who was on first, ran through the stop sign by third base coach Billy Hatcher and was initially ruled out, but Price challenged and the call was overturned after replay showed Schebler avoided the tag of Travis d’Arnaud.
Mets manager Terry Collins was then thrown out for arguing the overturn.
“I want to know what they were told,” Collins said. “I looked at the replay five times and there was not one thing that I saw that could’ve possibly overturned it, for me.”
Barnhart homered deep into the second deck in right field with two outs in the ninth.
The tie-breaking rally in the eighth made a winner out of Jackson Stephens (2-0), who tossed 1 1/3 hitless innings. Raisel Iglesias earned his 26th save with two innings of two-hit ball.
The Reds took a 2-0 lead in the first thanks to Cozart’s RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Adam Duvall.
Jeurys Familia (1-2) took the loss for the Mets after allowing two runs on two hits and three walks while recording just two outs in the eighth. Familia was pitching on back-to-back days for the first time since he was activated from the disabled list Aug. 25. He missed more than three months after undergoing surgery to repair a blood clot in his right shoulder.
“We’re in a stage of trying to find out a few things,” Collins said. “Found out he’s not ready to go back-to-back.”
D’Arnaud had an RBI groundout in the first and Smith laced an RBI single in the third for the Mets (63-80).
Reds right-hander Sal Romano allowed two runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out six over five innings. Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom allowed two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out 10 over six innings.
NOTES: Mets rookie INF Phillip Evans, who recorded his first career hit Saturday, turned 25 Sunday. ... RHP Jacob deGrom had a streak of 20 straight decisions snapped. ... Reds 1B Joey Votto turned 34 Sunday. ... Reds RHP Raisel Iglesias leads the majors with 11 saves of more than one inning and eight two-inning saves.