CINCINNATI — The Reds knew it had been a long time since they beat the Mets — nearly three years. Cincinnati busted the slump with a big game all-around.
The Reds hadn’t beaten the Mets since Sept. 6, 2014. They’d dropped their last eight to New York at Great American Ball Park, where the Mets are 30-16 all-time — the best winning percentage by any NL team, including the Reds.
“I think it was 14,” rookie starter Sal Romano said of the slump. “It was nice to be a part of (stopping) it.”
Cincinnati put the game away with a seven-run eighth inning that featured Adam Duvall’s three-run homer. Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki made his second appearance on the mound this season and induced a double-play grounder.
Romano (4-5) made his third straight solid start, allowing three runs and six hits in six innings.
Schebler homered in the first off rookie Chris Flexen (3-3), who needed 36 pitches to get through the inning. The Reds loaded the bases with the help of a pair of walks, Eugenio Suarez singled in a run, and Schebler connected for his 26th homer and a 5-1 lead.
“It doesn’t happen often, especially not to me,” Schebler said.
Flexen, called up from Double-A last month, gave up seven runs, seven hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. Mets manager Terry Collins thought the rookie was too excited in the first inning.
“Once he gets into the flow of the game, he settles down,” Collins said. “Certainly there’s a couple things some teams try to do in the bullpen when they’re warming up to try to get them to calm down. We might try one of those little things his next start.”
Flexen thinks he’s made progress over his seven starts. He gave up three or fewer runs in each of his four previous starts.
“I’ve had some success the past few starts,” Flexen said. “Today was a little different. I got touched up pretty good today. I think I’ve adjusted. I’m learning what guys chase and how to get them out.”
Jose Reyes was in left field for the Mets, his first start and second career appearance in the outfield. Reyes played an inning in center on May 13. He hadn’t played left field since 2000 in a rookie league.
His inexperience showed on Billy Hamilton’s fly in the second. Reyes took the wrong angle and it went over his head for a double. He moved back to shortstop as part of a double-switch in the sixth.
The Mets’ 14-game winning streak against the Reds was their second-longest in club history against any team. They won 15 straight against the Pirates from 1986-87. … New York is 11-3 in its last 14 games at Great American. … The Reds’ 14-game losing streak to the Mets was their longest against a team since they dropped 16 straight to Arizona from 2001-03.
The Mets are 18-27 since the All-Star break. The Reds are 17-27.
WALK THIS WAY
Joey Votto walked in his first plate appearance, extending his streak to six consecutive walks over two games. It was the longest such streak in the majors since Colorado’s Brad Hawpe did it in 2008. Votto then grounded out, walked two more times and singled home a run.
THE PITCHING LINE
Plawecki faced four batters and gave up one hit while getting the last three outs with pitches that flirted with 80 mph.
METS’ NEXT STOP
New York is scheduled to play a weekend series in Houston but expects to head instead to St. Petersburg, Florida. The Astros currently are playing the Rangers at Tropicana Field because of the heavy rains in Texas.
“I haven’t heard anything today,” Collins said. “What I heard yesterday was Tampa Bay looks like it’s the spot and that’s the last I heard. I think that’s what we’re kind of looking at. I saw a story a few minutes ago that said there’s a chance we’ll play in Houston. I’ll be shocked if that’s the case.”
Mets: RHP Matt Harvey is scheduled to start on Friday against Houston. Harvey has been on the DL since June with a shoulder injury.
Reds: C Stuart Turner was back after missing a weekend series against the Pirates for the birth of his son.
Mets: Rafael Montero (2-9) pitched one inning in relief on Sunday. He’s 0-3 with a 6.10 ERA out of the bullpen.
Reds: Homer Bailey (4-6) makes his first start in eight days. He was given extra rest after lasting only three innings against the Cubs because of irritation in the back of his shoulder. He’s 1-2 in four career starts against the Mets with a 7.15 ERA.
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