Pinch hitter Christian Colon delivered a tiebreaking single off Seth Lugo with two outs in the eighth inning Saturday afternoon and the host Cincinnati Reds posted a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets.
New York (80-74) fell four games behind Milwaukee for the second wild-card spot and saw its elimination number lowered to five. The Brewers were hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates later Saturday.
Colon batted for reliever Joel Kuhnel with runners at first and second after Justin Wilson (4-2) walked Jose Iglesias and Jose Peraza singled. After Lugo fanned pinch hitter Curt Casali for the second out, Colon grounded a full-count curveball up the middle and Iglesias scored the winning run.
It was the second clutch hit for Colon in four years against the Mets. He had the game-winning hit in the 12th inning for the Kansas City Royals in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field.
Kuhnel (1-0) struck out Pete Alonso to end the eighth and earned his first career win after Amir Garrett got the first two outs. Raisel Iglesias struck out Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos and Michael Conforto in the ninth to convert his 34th save in 38 chances.
Aristides Aquino and Iglesias had RBI singles in the first inning off Zack Wheeler following a fielding error by third baseman Todd Frazier and the Reds threatened numerous times before Colon's big hit.
Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits in six innings. He struck out seven, walked one before four relievers combined on three hitless innings.
Wheeler had an RBI groundout in the third and Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch to forge a 2-2 tie in the fifth, but the Mets struck out 12 times and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
Wheeler dodged trouble at various points and pitched two-run ball for seven innings, marking the 14th time he completed at least seven innings. He allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits with six strikeouts and one walk on a day in which retired the side twice and allowed both runs in the first.
--Field Level Media