The Mets had yet another wild night at the ballpark, with home runs flying, a deficit being erased, and the game being decided in the final inning.
The Mets took a gut punch in one of these games over the weekend, but have since countered with two straight uppercuts.
With home runs in the 11th inning, Kevin Pillar and Michael Conforto helped the Mets win their second straight game, 15-11, over the Reds at Great American Ball Park on Monday night. The Mets hit a season-high seven home runs.
After Jeff McNeil’s RBI single in the 11th inning gave the Mets an 11-10 lead, Pillar hit a three-run homer off Ryan Hendrix, and Conforto followed with his second blast of the game.
“I keep using the quote that we’re built for this, and tonight was a perfect example,” Pillar said. “I was the last guy on the bench, we had two new pitchers brought up today, we had some guys who were unavailable in the bullpen because they had covered so many innings [Sunday], and no one flinched.”
As manager Luis Rojas began serving a two-game suspension for “excessive arguing” with the umpires in Sunday’s comeback victory over the Pirates, bench coach Dave Jauss led the team to victory. After Rojas was ejected on Sunday, Jauss took over for the final 8 2/3 innings. After falling behind by six runs, the Mets rallied to win on Conforto’s two-run homer in the ninth inning.
Anthony Banda, who was called up from Triple-A Syracuse before Monday’s game to give the Mets a fresh reliever, got four outs in the 10th and 11th innings to secure the win. Trevor May got the final two outs to bring the game to a close after 4 hours and 45 minutes.
“You don’t even realize it was a five-hour game or whatever it was because of all the action going on,” James McCann said.
After Tyler Naquin’s RBI single tied the game 10-10 in the 10th inning, Banda got Eugenio Suarez to hit into a double play. After the Mets’ outburst, the Reds added another run against Banda in the 11th inning.
“The best thing that I say is the young man came in and he threw strikes,” Jauss said. “I love pitchers that throw strikes. We love pitchers that throw strikes, and he came in and competed and threw strikes, got the big double-play ball on Suarez — they took really good at-bats against him in the 10th and they put across that one run, but he saved it until we could score more in the 11th inning.”
With two outs in the ninth inning, Edwin Diaz blew his third straight save, tying the game 9-9 with an RBI double by Jesse Winker. Diaz set up his latest meltdown by walking the inning’s leadoff hitter, Kyle Farmer, on four pitches. With first base open and two outs, Diaz challenged Winker and watched as pinch-runner Aristides Aquino raced home from second with the tying run.
The right-hander drilled the first batter he faced and loaded the bases with two outs before giving up a walk-off grand slam to Jacob Stallings on Saturday in Pittsburgh.
McCann’s RBI single in the 10th inning gave the Mets a 10-9 lead, his second big hit in as many at-bats on the night.
The Mets took a 9-8 lead in the eighth inning when McCann hit his team’s fifth home run of the night, a pinch-hit two-run shot off Josh Osich.
Seth Lugo had been summoned with the go-ahead run on base a half-inning earlier and had struggled, allowing an RBI double to Winker to give the Reds an 8-7 lead. After Farmer’s one-out single against Miguel Castro, Lugo allowed two of the three batters he faced to reach base, allowing five runs in the eighth inning on Saturday in Pittsburgh.
Over 3 2/3 innings, Jerad Eickhoff was hit by a porous defense and gave up seven runs, five of which were unearned, on six hits, one walk, and two hit batters. After allowing six home runs in his previous two appearances, the veteran right-hander was able to keep the ball in the park.
After Jonathan India’s leadoff double and Winker’s ensuing single, Luis Guillorme’s first error of the night, on Tyler Stephenson’s grounder, the Reds were within 3-1.