Mets claim rubber match against Reds

Michael Conforto hit a three-run homer to cap a four-run first inning Sunday afternoon for the New York Mets, who remained on the fringes of the National League wild-card race with a 6-3 win over the host Cincinnati Reds.

Sep 22, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30) celebrates in the dugout after hitting a three-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

By winning the rubber game of the three-game series, the Mets (81-74) ensured they would remain no more than 4 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the race for the second NL wild card. New York is scheduled to finish the season with seven home games against the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves.

The Reds (73-83) host the Brewers in a three-game series beginning Tuesday night.

Reds starter Trevor Bauer (11-13) retired the first two batters he faced before Pete Alonso doubled and scored on Robinson Cano’s double. After Wilson Ramos was hit by a pitch, Conforto homered to right for his first round-tripper since Sept. 12, a span of 31 plate appearances.

The Reds scored against Marcus Stroman in the bottom of the inning, when Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez each singled before Votto came home on a sacrifice fly by Aristides Aquino.

Stroman set down 13 in a row before running into trouble in the fifth, when Kyle Farmer homered with two outs. Stroman then issued three straight walks and was pulled for Brad Brach (5-4), who retired Suarez on a pop up.

Brach allowed two hits over 1 1/3 innings. Justin Wilson, the Mets’ fifth pitcher, earned his fourth save with a hitless ninth.

J.D. Davis homered in the sixth for the Mets and Brandon Nimmo added a solo shot in the ninth. Conforto was the only player on either team with two hits.

Stroman allowed the two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out two.

Tucker Barnhart homered in the eighth for the Reds.

Bauer gave up five runs on six hits and no walks while striking out eight over seven innings.

--Field Level Media