Mets claim rubber match against Reds

Michael Conforto hit a three-run homer to cap a four-run first inning Sunday afternoon for the New York Mets, who remained on the fringes of the National League wild-card race with a 6-3 win over the host Cincinnati Reds.

In winning the rubber game of the three-game series, combined with Washington's loss to Miami on Sunday, the Mets (81-74) are 4 1/2 games out of both wild-card spots in the National League. The Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers are in a virtual tie for the two slots. New York is scheduled to finish the season with seven home games against Miami and the Atlanta Braves.

The Reds (73-83) host the Brewers in a three-game series beginning Tuesday night.

Reds starter Trevor Bauer (11-13) retired the first two batters he faced before Pete Alonso doubled and scored on Robinson Cano's double. After Wilson Ramos was hit by a pitch, Conforto homered to right for his first round-tripper since Sept. 12, a span of 31 plate appearances.

The Reds scored against Marcus Stroman in the bottom of the inning when Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez each singled before Votto came home on a sacrifice fly by Aristides Aquino.

Stroman set down 13 in a row before running into trouble in the fifth, when Kyle Farmer homered with two outs. Stroman then issued three straight walks and was pulled for Brad Brach (5-4), who retired Suarez on a pop up.

Brach allowed two hits over 1 1/3 innings, striking out one and not walking a batter. Justin Wilson, the Mets' fifth pitcher, earned his fourth save with a hitless ninth.

J.D. Davis homered in the sixth for the Mets and Brandon Nimmo added a solo shot in the ninth. Conforto was the only player on either team with two hits.

Stroman allowed two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out two over 4 2/3 innings. Bauer went seven innings and gave up five runs on six hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.

Tucker Barnhart homered in the eighth for the Reds.

--Field Level Media