CINCINNATI — Just another wild night at the ballpark for the Mets, with homers flying, a deficit erased and a game decided in the final inning.
The Mets took a gut punch in one such game over the weekend, but have distributed two straight uppercuts to mitigate the damage since.
Kevin Pillar and Michael Conforto delivered the knockout with homers in the 11th inning Monday night that helped ice the Mets’ second straight victory, 15-11 over the Reds at Great American Ball Park. The Mets blasted seven homers, a season high.
After Jeff McNeil’s RBI single gave the Mets an 11-10 lead in the 11th inning, Pillar crushed a three-run homer against Ryan Hendrix and Conforto followed with his second blast of the game.
Anthony Banda, who was selected from Triple-A Syracuse before the game to provide the Mets with a fresh bullpen arm, secured the victory by getting four outs in the 10th and 11th innings. Trevor May recorded the final two outs for the save. The Reds had tied it 10-10 in the 10th against Banda on Tyler Naquin’s RBI single.
Edwin Diaz suffered a third straight blown save — a career first — allowing an RBI double to Jesse Winker with two outs in the ninth that tied it 9-9. Diaz walked the inning’s leadoff hitter, Kyle Farmer, on four pitches, setting up his latest meltdown. Diaz challenged Winker with first base open and two outs and watched as pinch-runner Aristes Aquino raced home from second with the tying run.
On Saturday in Pittsburgh, the right-hander drilled the first batter he faced and loaded the bases with two outs before surrendering a walk-off grand slam to Jacob Stallings.
James McCann’s second big hit in as many at-bats, an RBI single in the 10th inning, had staked the Mets to a 10-9 lead.
This victory came with bench coach Dave Jauss directing the team, as manager Luis Rojas began serving a two-game suspension for “excessive arguing” with the umpires in Sunday’s comeback victory over the Pirates. Jauss managed the final 8 ²/₃ innings after Rojas was ejected Sunday.
McCann blasted his team’s fifth homer of the night, a pinch-hit, two-run shot in the eighth against Josh Osich that gave the Mets a 9-8 lead.
A half-inning earlier, Seth Lugo was summoned with the go-ahead run on base and faltered, allowing an RBI double to Winker that gave the Reds an 8-7 lead. Lugo, who surrendered five runs in the eighth inning on Saturday in Pittsburgh, allowed two of the three batters he faced to reach base after Farmer’s one-out single against Miguel Castro.
Jerad Eickhoff, victimized by porous defense, allowed seven runs, five of which were unearned, on six hits, one walk and two hit batters over 3 ²/₃ innings. The veteran right-hander managed to keep the ball in the park after surrendering six homers in his previous two appearances combined.
Luis Guillorme’s first error of the night, on Tyler Stephenson’s grounder, pulled the Reds within 3-1 after Jonathan India’s leadoff double and Winker’s ensuing single. Joey Votto was hit by a pitch and Naquin followed with a two-run double that tied the game. Shogo Akiyama’s sacrifice fly put the Mets in a 4-3 hole to end the first inning.
It got especially ugly for the Mets in the second, when they committed three errors — two on one play by Guillorme — that allowed the Reds to take a 7-3 lead.
After Eickhoff drilled India leading off the inning, Winker hit a grounder to second that McNeil grabbed, but threw low to Guillorme covering the base. The error was charged to McNeil, on a play Guillorme likely should have completed. Stephenson followed with a grounder that Guillorme, in his haste to get the force at third, fumbled. Guillorme exacerbated matters by swiping the ball past J.D. Davis for a second error on the play, allowing India to score. Joey Voto and Naquin followed with consecutive RBI singles.
Conforto launched a two-run homer in the fourth that pulled the Mets within 7-5. Alonso later in the inning delivered an RBI single. Eickhoff, who had bunted for a single in the inning, was held at third — a questionable decision with two outs — and never scored.
Dominic Smith’s blast leading off the fifth was the Mets’ fourth of the night and tied it 7-7. The homer was Smith’s 10th of the season, joining him with Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor as Mets players in double digits.
The Mets jumped on Vladimir Gutierrez for three fast runs. After Brandon Nimmo singled leading off the game, Alonso homered into the left-field seats. McNeil followed with a homer.