NEW YORK — Not only did the Cincinnati Reds have to face three of the Mets' top young starters this weekend, they got beat at the plate by one of them, too.
Steven Matz was the latest prized arm to excel against the Reds in a three-game sweep, and he had three hits and a record four RBIs in his major league debut to lead New York over Cincinnati 7-2 Sunday.
"I think they have a great rotation," Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips said. "They have a lot of great guys over there and they pitched very well against us and you tip your hat when it's due."
Cincinnati dropped a disappointing 2-1 decision to the Mets earlier Sunday in the completion of Saturday's game suspended by rain. The deciding run scored when shortstop Eugenio Suarez made an error in the 13th inning — his fifth in five games — and first baseman Joey Votto couldn't handle Lucas Duda's high chopper.
Phillips led off the regularly scheduled game with a homer off Matz, and Todd Frazier connected in the fourth for his 25th long ball to tie it 2-all. Phillips has hit safely in all 32 road games he's played against the Mets.
Phillips' hit was initially ruled a single off the wall. The call was overturned after a replay review of 59 seconds, giving Phillips a home run on his 34th birthday.
But the Reds had little success otherwise against the rookie pitcher.
In 7 2-3 innings, Matz allowed five hits and two runs, walking three and striking out six. Some fans booed when manager Terry Collins came out to get the Long Island lefty after 110 pitches.
"It's not a lot of fun on this end to be talking about the great game that another player had on a different team, but he did have a great day," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We know a lot about him but we didn't anticipate him coming up and having the type of day he had offensively against our pitching staff."
Matz (1-0) became the first player in franchise history — at any position — to have four RBIs in his first big league game. He is the only major league pitcher to knock in four runs in his debut, according to STATS.
He did it with a two-run double off Josh Smith (0-1) over the center fielder's head in the second and a two-run single with the bases loaded in the sixth. In between those at-bats: Matz keyed a tiebreaking rally with another single, making him the first Mets pitcher to have hits in his first three at-bats.
By his turn in the fifth, fans had replaced the "Let's go Mets!" chant with "Let's go Matz!"
And with each successive hit, his family in attendance broke into delirious excitement — making his thrilled and animated grandfather an instant Internet sensation.
"Did it all today," said Matz, who grew up a Mets fan about 50 miles from Citi Field and had more than 130 friends and family members in the stands.
The Mets had scored just 15 runs in 10 games coming in, their worst string since September 1979, according to STATS. They have won four straight following a seven-game slide.
Smith struggled with his control in his second big league start and was done after five innings. He yielded four hits and three runs — only one earned because of another error by Suarez that led to the Mets' first two runs.
"Too many balls in the first two pitches instead of challenging guys," Smith said. "Trying to be too fine early in the count. It's something I have to work on and it will get better."
Phillips has been struggling with thumb injuries and also jammed his pinkie Sunday.
"Sometimes on certain swings I feel it," he said. "But I try to man-up a little bit, so I'm used to playing with an injury."
Reds: OF Jason Bourgeois (broken bone in left shoulder) was activated from the 60-day DL as the 26th man for the originally scheduled game. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Reds transferred RHP Jon Moscot to the 60-day DL.
Reds: Mike Leake faces Minnesota for the second time in his career Monday night. In 21 at-bats against the right-hander, the Twins have just one run and three hits — including a homer by Trevor Plouffe.
Mets: After an off day Monday, the Mets host the Cubs. Jonathon Niese has gone a career-high eight games without a win but he's pitched well in his last four starts.
AP Baseball Writer Mike Fitzpatrick contributed to this report.