Lindor, McNeil back Carrasco as streaking Mets beat Reds 6-2
New York — Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil both homered and drove in two runs, leading Carlos Carrasco and the streaking New York Mets past the Cincinnati Reds 6-2 on Tuesday night.
Carrasco (13-4) pitched into the seventh inning and struck out nine to win his fifth straight decision and tie for the National League lead in wins. New York's rotation has a 2.78 ERA in eight starts since Jacob deGrom returned — a stretch that includes Taijuan Walker giving up eight runs in one-plus inning last Friday.
"I think every time one of those guys pitches, the next guy, they just want to do the same," Carrasco said. "Like (Chris) Bassitt, last night he went eight innings. I just want to do the same."
Lindor became the first Mets shortstop with multiple 20-homer seasons when he opened the scoring with a two-run shot in the third. He has scored at least one run in 12 straight games, the longest streak of his career and tied with Mookie Betts for the longest in the majors this season.
McNeil led off the fourth with a homer against Mike Minor — his first off a left-hander since taking Washington's Roenis Elias deep on Sept. 3, 2019. McNeil added an RBI single in the sixth and has a 12-game hitting streak.
"Kind of shows that I'm swinging the bat well and that gives me some confidence," McNeil said.
Darin Ruf laced a two-run single in the seventh for the Mets, who have won 14 of 16 to move seven games ahead of second-place Atlanta in the NL East.
"We've been clicking all year," McNeil said. "Everyone in this lineup is hot right now. We're a dangerous team. We're a good team. We know that."
The first pitch was delayed 51 minutes due to torrential rain. The temperature at game time was 86 degrees, down about 10 degrees from earlier in the day.
Carrasco allowed two runs on seven hits and one walk. He carried a three-hit shutout into the seventh, when Jake Fraley hit a two-run homer and Austin Romine and Jonathan India chased the 35-year-old right-hander with consecutive two-out singles.
The 13 wins are three more than Carrasco had from 2019-21, when he was limited to 47 games (36 starts) due to a battle with lymphoma in 2019, the pandemic in 2020 and hamstring and elbow injuries last season.
"Carlos has been a good major league pitcher for a long time," Mets manager Buck Showalter said. "He hasn't been this healthy in a while. It was one of those things we hoped (could) happen this year. We knew it could be a shot in the arm."
Mychal Givens struck out Nick Senzel to end the seventh. Trevor May wriggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth before Seth Lugo threw a perfect ninth.
"We had a couple of opportunities — not enough, though," Reds manager David Bell said. "Carrasco was really good."
Mike Minor (1-9) lost his sixth consecutive decision after allowing four runs on five hits with three walks in 5 1/3 innings. He threw 110 pitches, his most since 126 for Texas on Sept. 26, 2019.
Cincinnati is assured of losing a series for the first time since the All-Star break.
Mets closer Edwin Díaz and his younger brother, Cincinnati Reds rookie reliever Alexis Díaz, exchanged the lineup cards at home plate before the game.
With several family members watching and wearing split Mets/Reds shirts picturing both brothers for the second straight night, Edwin and Alexis shook hands with the umpires and posed for a photo before hugging one another.
"It's unbelievable," their father, Edwin, said during the second inning. "Kids started playing at 5 years old, 6 years old. Their dream came true."
It was the second time this season the Díaz brothers exchanged lineup cards at home plate. They also did it before the series opener between the teams in Cincinnati on July 4.
Plate umpire Pat Hoberg was hit near his throat by the shard of Kyle Farmer's broken bat on an eighth-inning single. Hoberg completed the game following a brief visit from a Mets trainer.
Reds: INF/DH Mike Moustakas (left calf strain) was placed on the 10-day injured list after he got hurt legging out a single Monday night. It's the fifth IL stint of the year for Moustakas, who was sidelined with a right biceps injury in April and was on the COVID-19 injured list three times thereafter. In a corresponding transaction, the Reds recalled Alejo Lopez from the minors. … India returned after exiting Monday's game due to a right hamstring injury. … Farmer batted third and started at third base after being a late scratch from Monday's lineup because of a stiff neck.
Mets: 1B/DH Dominic Smith (right ankle) went 1 for 4 in his fourth rehab game for Triple-A Syracuse. … RHP Tylor Megill (right shoulder) has increased his throwing program. The Mets plan for Megill, who isn't eligible to return until Aug. 17, to be utilized out of the bullpen down the stretch. … RHP Tommy Hunter (lower back) is nearing a rehab assignment.
Reds: RHP T.J. Zeuch will be promoted from the taxi squad to make his season debut Wednesday afternoon. He was 0-1 with a 3.63 ERA in five starts for Triple-A Louisville.
Mets: Walker (9-3, 3.45 ERA) got just three outs last Friday while allowing eight runs against the Braves — two fewer runs than he permitted in five July starts.