The Mets threatened to celebrate its first trip to the playoffs since 2006 with a 6-4 win over the Reds.
Combined with the Washington Nationals loss to the Orioles Thursday afternoon reduced the Mets' 'magic number to win the National League Eastern Division to three games. Any combination of Mets' wins and Nationals' losses that add to three gives New York the title.
It was a rematch of the June 28 meeting between the Reds' Josh Smith and the Mets' Steven Matz both rookies.
Smith gets the honor of making the 100th start by a rookie pitcher for the Reds this season. Matz joins a young staff, whose average age is skewed by 42-year old Bartolo Colon.
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The Mets were quiet in the first two innings but Matz, who had three hits in his debut on the 28th, reached on an infield single. Matz advanced on a groundout by Curtis Granderson and scored on David Wright's double. Daniel Murphy's single moved Wright to third. Yoenis Cespedes delivered Wright with a fly out to deep centerfield. Lucas Duda doubled home Cespedes to put the Mets on top 3-1.
Smith finished his night with two scoreless innings.
"He had a rough inning but he bounced back," Bryan Price said. "He's not a challenge guy who can rely on his fastball when he's behind in the count. He has to use his other pitches. He did more of that tonight."
Brandon Phillips second RBI single in the fifth followed Ramon Cabrera's pinch hit single and De Jesus Jr's second hit of the game. The Reds evened the score in the sixth. Eugenio Suarez split the right and center fielders with a line drive for a double. Pinch hitter Adam Duvall singled off the glove of thirdbaseman Wright as Suarez scored.
Jay Bruce hit his 26th home run of the season off Hansel Robles. Bruce is eighth on the Reds' All-Time home run list with 208. Ken Griffey Jr. is seventh with 210.
"We're looking for things to feel good about," Price said. "Jay getting to his power is one of those. Anyone who has followed the Reds knows Jay can get hot and he's starting to show that right now."
Bruce has been disappointed in his season in spite of his power numbers.
"It's been embarrassing overall," Bruce said. "I've wanted to play a certain way and I haven't. Catching Junior would be cool but I told Rob Butcher it wouldn't be a fair comparison unless I went to another team and hit over 400 more."