Encarnacion-Strand’s HR gives Reds win over Mets
Published 10:55 pm Saturday, September 16, 2023
NEW YORK (AP) — Christian Encarnacion-Strand hit a two-run homer and the Cincinnati Reds held off the New York Mets 3-2 on Saturday night to earn another important victory in the race for the last National League wild card.
With two runners aboard, Derek Law retired Mets slugger Pete Alonso on a game-ending groundout.
The Reds took the field in a three-way tie for the final NL playoff berth with the Miami Marlins, who beat Atlanta earlier Saturday, and Arizona Diamondbacks, who played the Chicago Cubs later. Cincinnati holds the season-series tiebreaker over Arizona, and split six games with Miami.
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Encarnacion-Strand, who made his first big league start at third base, singled and stole second in the second inning before hitting a 428-foot homer to right-center in the fourth.
TJ Friedl scored the Reds’ first run on a throwing error by Mets catcher Francisco Álvarez. Daniel Duarte (3-0) got four outs in relief of Andrew Abbott, who allowed two runs and struck out five in 3 2/3 innings.
One night after All-Star closer Alexis Díaz earned a five-out save, Law gave up two hits in the ninth before getting Alonso on a grounder to third for his second save.
Álvarez and fellow rookie Ronny Mauricio had RBI hits for the Mets.
Tylor Megill (8-8) permitted three runs — two earned — and struck out two in 5 2/3 innings.
The Reds, who trailed 1-0 in the first, posted their 46th comeback win, tied with Baltimore for most in the majors.
Spencer Steer, who entered as a defensive replacement in the seventh, made a running catch at the left-field wall of Álvarez’s fly ball on the first pitch of the inning.
Reds: C Luke Maile (left hand), hit by a pitch Friday night, was scratched from the lineup after feeling soreness while trying to swing the bat. … LHP Alex Young, sidelined since Aug. 24 due to a left hamstring injury and COVID-19, was in the locker room beforehand and should be activated soon. Young struck out all three batters he faced for Triple-A Louisville on Friday.
Mets: RF Starling Marte (right groin) ran the bases Saturday afternoon and is expected to accompany the Mets on their final road trip, beginning Monday in Miami. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte, who has played just two games since July 16 due to the groin injury and migraines, still hopes to return this season.
Reds LHP Brandon Williamson (4-4, 4.47 ERA) opposes Mets LHP José Quintana (2-5, 3.05) in Sunday’s series finale. Williamson is winless in his last five starts, a stretch that included a stint on the COVID-19 IL. Quintana has given up two runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts.
Reds 3, Mets 2
|Fraley dh||3||0||1||0||Nimmo cf||5||0||0||0|
|Renfroe ph-dh||2||0||0||0||Alvarez c||5||0||2||1|
|Martini rf||3||0||0||0||Alonso 1b||4||1||0||0|
|Senzel ph-3b||2||0||0||0||Lindor ss||2||0||1||0|
|India 2b||4||0||1||0||Mauricio 3b||4||0||2||1|
|Friedl cf-lf||4||1||2||0||McNeil 2b||3||0||0||0|
|Stephenson c||4||0||0||0||Vientos dh||4||0||1||0|
|Votto 1b||2||1||0||0||Stewart rf||4||0||0||0|
|Bader pr-cf||0||0||0||0||Locastro lf||2||1||1||0|
|Encrncn-Strnd 3b||3||1||2||2||Vogelbach ph||1||0||1||0|
|Steer lf-1b||0||0||0||0||Ortega pr||0||0||0||0|
|De La Cruz ss||4||0||2||0|
E–Alvarez (13), McNeil (4). DP–Cincinnati 1, New York 2. LOB–Cincinnati 9, New York 10. 2B–Locastro (1), Alvarez (11). HR–Encarnacion-Strand (7). SB–Mauricio (5), De La Cruz (29), Bader (3).
Umpires–Home, Larry Vanover; First, Edwin Moscoso; Second, D.J. Reyburn; Third, David Rackley.
T–3:04. A–32,633 (42,136).