Dominic Smith‘s double off Dauri Moreta (0-2) drove pinch-runner Ender Inciarte home from second base with the go-ahead run in the 10th. James McCann delivered an RBI single before Nimmo’s shot sent the NL East leaders to their 20th series win this season – taking two of three of the last Reds.
“Even though it’s Cincinnati and it’s a baseball field, it’s huge,” Nimmo said. “We know we’re playing a good attack, but we’ve also had some good pitching in the last few days. We know we can do it. This adds nothing but confidence in attack and for the boys in the clubhouse.”
Pete Alonso hit 4 for 5 with a double. Nimmo had three hits, scoring three runs from the leadoff spot while New York was 2 1/2 games ahead of second place Atlanta.
A loss would have left the Mets with their smallest lead since April 16.
Adam Ottavino (3-2) struckout two batters in a hitless ninth for the win.
Nick Senzel hit a two-run homer for the Reds, who have the worst record in the National League.
“You have to play all nine innings, sometimes ten,” said Cincinnati manager David Bell. “That’s what we did and that’s what the Mets did. They got us tonight, but we gave ourselves the chance to win.”
The Mets faced a hard-throwing rookie for the third day in a row and couldn’t get much going against Graham Ashcraft, who gave up 10 hits but only two runs in six innings.
Cincinnati threw Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo and Ashcraft consecutively against the Mets, who were knocked out 1-0 on Tuesday-evening.
“They’ve had us scratching and clawing this whole series,” Nimmo said. “Hats off to those starters we’ve been dealing with in the last few days. It was really important to get it out today.”
Mets lefty David Peterson came off the throwing paternity list after the birth of his son, but his first career start against Cincinnati lasted just 3 2/3 innings. He allowed three earned runs and walked five.
Senzel, who had one homerun in his first 181 at bats this season, homered for the second time in three games to give the Reds a 2-1 lead in the second.
Adonis Medina gave up only one basehit in three scoreless innings of relief to make it an one-run game. But the Mets didn’t break through until the ninth against the worst bullpen in baseball.
“We have had many hits, many opportunities. It was frustrating not to be able to break through,” said manager Buck Showalter. “We’re getting people out and just not cashing in. It’s a good win for the journey home tonight.”
New York’s lone runs before the ninth came on Jeff McNeil’s RBI-single in the first and a broken single by Tomás Nido that brought home a run in the fourth.
Things got difficult in the 10th when Moreta Eduardo Escobar hit back with a pitch, but both players were restrained before others left the dugouts.
After a stormy week with the birth of his son, Peterson was able to throw a bullpen and get a good night’s sleep before the start of Wednesday. “I was able to get in reasonably early last night and catch up on some sleep,” he said. “I’m glad he and my wife are healthy and that everything is fine at home. He is a blessing. Being a father is the most amazing thing that ever happened to me.”
NO SLEEP LIFT WHEN ENTERING
Showalter was not happy that the Mets had an evening game in Cincinnati before starting a four-game home run against Miami on Thursday night. “I don’t know how they get away with that,” he said. “The program is what it is. I honestly don’t think it’s good for the game. Still a great way to earn a living, even when you’re not sleeping.”
Thursday’s starter, Trevor Williams, traveled back to New York for the team.
Mets: RHP Chris Bassitt remains on track to start Friday against the Marlins at Citi Field. Bassitt was placed on the COVID-19 injured list last Friday.
Reds: 1B Joey Votto did not play due to a strained lower back. … RHP Tyler Mahle has a strained right shoulder and was placed on the 15-day IL retroactive to Sunday. … DH Jonathan India was hit on the left ankle by a pitch early in the game and left an inning later. X-rays were negative.
Mets: Williams (1-5, 4.34 ERA) will pitch against Miami at Citi Field on Thursday-evening.
Reds: LHP Mike Minor opens the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader against the Pirates, which is postponed to May 6. The starter for Game 2 is undetermined after Mahle went on the IL.
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