CINCINNATI (AP) _ Bartolo Colon pitched six innings of five-hit ball and Matt Reynolds homered to the lead the New York Mets to a 5-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday.
Kelly Johnson also went deep as the Mets won for the sixth time in eight games. It was New York’s 12th straight victory over Cincinnati.
Colon (13-7) improved to 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last seven starts. The Reds put a runner on third with nobody out on two occasions, and Colon wiggled out of the jam each time.
New York had a short turnaround after a 5-1 victory over Washington on Sunday night, but Colon traveled to Cincinnati ahead of the team and it looks as if the rest paid off. The Mets began the day just one game back of St. Louis for the second NL wild card.
Jay Bruce went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his first game in Cincinnati since the Reds traded him to the Mets on Aug. 1.
Robert Stephenson, one of Cincinnati’s top prospects, struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs and six hits, but fell short in his bid to become the first Cincinnati pitcher since Wayne Simpson in 1970 to win each of his first three major league starts.
The 23-year-old Stephenson beat Philadelphia and Colorado in a pair of spot starts in April.
Reynolds, recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas before the game, hit his third homer of the season with one out in the third inning. He also had an RBI single in New York’s three-run seventh and finished with three hits.
Johnson led off the fifth with his 10th homer.
The Mets have hit 18 home runs in their last 11 games at Great American Ball Park and 185 overall this season for their best total since the 2006 team set the franchise record with 200.
After the Mets didn’t arrive in Cincinnati until approximately 3:45 a.m., four regulars _ outfielders Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes and infielders Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabera _ were out of the starting lineup.
Reds: 2B Brandon Phillips returned to the starting lineup after being scratched each of the previous two days with a sore left foot.
Mets RHP Rafael Montero (0-0) and Reds LHP Brandon Finnegan (8-10) are scheduled to start on Tuesday. Finnegan has limited opposing batters to a .132 average (9 for 68) over his last three starts.
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