CINCINNATI (AP) — Rookie Matt Harvey drove in one more run than he allowed in the longest outing of his short major league career, and the New York Mets snapped the Cincinnati Reds’ five-game winning streak with an 8-4 victory on Thursday night.
Harvey (2-3), who had lost three straight starts after winning in his major league debut, allowed one run and four hits in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out eight, walked one and hit a batter. Harvey also doubled in two runs in New York’s three-run fourth inning.
Ike Davis and Jason Bay hit solo home runs for the Mets, who capitalized on three errors and avoided a three-game sweep. New York hasn’t been swept in Cincinnati since 2005.
The Reds, who entered with a season-high, seven-game lead in the NL Central, had it cut to six over Pittsburgh.
Jon Rauch came on in relief of struggling Mets closer Frank Francisco and struck out pinch-hitter Wilson Valdez to end the game for his third save. Francisco allowed three runs and four hits, and got only two outs in his second straight rough outing.
The Mets took the lead in the fourth inning, scoring three times after managing a total of one run in their opening two losses to the Reds in the series.
Davis snapped the scoreless tie with his team-leading 21st homer of the season and first since July 28 at Arizona. The leadoff shot, which traveled 421 feet into the right-center field seats, was hit off Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey.
Two outs later, Bay hit a grounder up the middle that second baseman Brandon Phillips backhanded and threw over Todd Frazier’s head at first base for an infield hit and a throwing error. Kelly Shoppach, making his first appearance with the Mets, was intentionally walked to get to Harvey. The big right-hander then hit a two-run double to deep left-center field that produced his first career RBIs.
The error was Phillips’ first in a career-high 84 games, dating to May 6 at Pittsburgh.
Bay increased New York’s lead to 4-0 with his sixth homer of the year and first since July 18 at Washington, with one out in the sixth inning. Shoppach reached on Scott Rolen’s error, and after Harvey’s sacrifice, Ruben Tejada doubled off the left field wall and scored on Mike Baxter’s single.
Bailey (10-8) allowed eight hits and six runs, four earned, with three walks, a wild pitch and six strikeouts in 5 1-3 innings.
The Reds broke up Harvey’s shutout with doubles by Phillips and Jay Bruce in the seventh.
Davis added an RBI double in the ninth, and the Mets tacked on another run on Zack Cozart’s error.
Ryan Ludwick led off the ninth with his 23rd homer of the season on the first pitch from Francisco. It extended Ludwick’s hitting streak to a season-high eight games. Miguel Cairo drove in another run with a single, and Cozart knocked in one with a double.
Notes: Mets 3B David Wright needs one home run to become the third player to hit 200 with New York. Wright hasn’t homered since July 27 at Arizona. ... The Mets’ road trip continues with three at Washington. LHP Johan Santana is scheduled to make his second start since coming off on Friday. ... The Reds will open a four-game, three-day home series against the Chicago Cubs, including a split doubleheader on Saturday to make a rain postponement on May 1. RHP Johnny Cueto said he expects to start the first game of the doubleheader.
Ike Davis, Tim Teufel