CINCINNATI (AP) – Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor homered, helping the New York Mets beat the lowly Cincinnati Reds 7-4 on Monday night.
Taijuan Walker (7-2) struck out nine in six innings as NL East-leading New York earned its second straight win after a stretch of four losses in five games. The Mets improved to 50-30, and ace right-hander Max Scherzer returns Tuesday night after being sidelined by a strained left oblique muscle.
Nick Senzel and Brandon Drury homered for last-place Cincinnati, which lost for the fifth time in six games.
The Mets got some good swings against hard-throwing rookie Hunter Greene.
Nimmo hit a towering three-run drive in the second. The Mets are 39-9 this season when scoring first.
In the third, Drury drove an 0-1 pitch from Walker deep to right for a tying three-run shot. The opposite-field homer was Drury’s career-best 17th. He was with the Mets last season, but only had 84 at-bats.
Lindor put the Mets ahead with his 14th homer, a solo drive on a 99-mph pitch from Greene in the fifth. It was the major league-leading 22nd homer allowed by Greene (3-10) this season.
Dominic Smith’s two-run double off Reiver Sanmartin in the sixth handed the Mets a three-run cushion.
Walker was charged with three runs and four hits. Seth Lugo pitched the ninth for his third save.
It was win No. 1,601 for Mets manager Buck Showalter. He is one victory shy of Fred Clarke for 21st on the career list.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (stress reaction in right scapula) is slated to make his second minor league rehab start on Friday. He is not expected to return to the Mets’ rotation until after the All-Star break. … LHP David Peterson is expected to come off the paternity list to start Wednesday’s series finale in Cincinnati.
Reds: RHP Art Warren was placed on the IL with a right flexor pronator strain. C Mark Kolozsvary was recalled. … C Tyler Stephenson began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville and caught five innings while going 1 for 2 at the plate. Stephenson broke his right thumb June 9 on a foul tip.
Scherzer (5-1, 2.54 ERA) makes his first start for the Mets since leaving his outing on May 18 against St. Louis with a right oblique strain. Scherzer’s 1.84 ERA against the Reds is tied for the ninth-lowest mark among all pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched against an opponent. Reds rookie LHP Nick Lodolo (1-2, 5.52 ERA) starts for the first time since suffering a lower back strain in April.