McCoy: Mets pound seven home runs, hand Reds fourth straight loss

New York Mets' Pete Alonso gestures as he runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Monday, July 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
New York Mets' Pete Alonso gestures as he runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Monday, July 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Credit: Aaron Doster

Credit: Aaron Doster

For two innings, it looked as if the 120-loss 1962 New York Mets showed up Monday night in Great American Ball Park, a team about which manager Casey Stengel asked, “Can anybody here play this game?”

The Mets made four errors in those innings that led to seven runs by the Cincinnati Reds. Shortstop Luis Guillorme, making only his second start this season in place of injured Francisco Lindor, committed three of those errors, two on one play.

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New York Mets? No, these were the grown-up version of the Bad News Bears.

And yet, incredibly, the Mets won the game, an ugly and comical 15-11,, 11-inning affair that affixed a fourth straight loss on the Reds since the All-Star break.

The Mets obliterated seven home runs, including back-to-back bolts in the 11th inning off relief pitcher Ryan Hendrix, a three-run rip by Kevin Pillar and a solo shot by Michael Conforto. The seven homers tied a record for the most hit in a game by a Reds opponent. The Philadelphia Phillies hit seven earlier this season in a 17-3 whipping of the Reds.

Another big blast Monday came in the eighth inning when pinch-hitter James McCann drilled a two-run home run off relief pitcher Josh Osich, turning a one-run Reds lead into a one-run 9-8 deficit.

It all unfolded because the Reds received a bad start from Vladimir Gutierrez and another bullpen mess — seven innings, eight runs.

Gutierrez lasted only four innings and gave up six runs and nine hits and three of those hits left the ball park.

The Reds led, 7-6, after four innings, until R.J. Alaniz, called up from Class AAA Louisville before the game, gave up a game-tying home run to Dominic Smith, the first batter he faced.

Cincinnati Reds' Shogo Akiyama runs to first base after hitting a sacrifice fly during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets in Cincinnati, Monday, July 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
Cincinnati Reds' Shogo Akiyama runs to first base after hitting a sacrifice fly during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets in Cincinnati, Monday, July 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Credit: Aaron Doster

Credit: Aaron Doster

It stayed 7-7 until the seventh when Jesse Winker’s two-out double gave the Reds an 8-7 lead.

The lead only survived for a few minutes, until Osich took the mound for the eighth. Conforto singled and pinch-hitter McCann homered for a 9-8 Mets lead.

Gutierrez started the game by giving up a single and back-to-back home runs to All-Star Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeill.

Jerad Eickhoff was the 15th pitcher to start for the Mets this season because the National League East Division leaders are missing Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco.

His 3-0 top of the first lead disappeared in the bottom of the first when the Reds scored four times. Shortstop Guillorme bungled a double play grounder to open the gate.

The Reds added three more in the second when the Mets made three errors, one by second baseman McNeill and two by Guillorme on the same play. He fumbled Tyler Stephenson’s ground ball, then threw it past third base.

That gave the Reds a 7-3 lead, but Gutierrez gave up a two-run home run in the fourth to Conforto and a run-scoring single to Alonso, cutting the lead to 7-6.

And the Reds’ bullpen did its dirty deed the rest of the way.

New York closer Edwin Diaz pitched the ninth and walked Farmer on four pitches to open the inning. Tucker Barnhart struck out and India grounded to the mound, putting pinch-runner Aristides Aquino on second with two outs.

And Winker delivered again, a run-scoring single to tie it, 9-9. Winker took second on the throw home, moved to third on a wild pitch, but pinch-hitter Michael Freeman struck out on a full count to send it into extra innings.

The teams exchanged runs in the 10th before the Mets unloaded in the 11th.

Tyler Naquin produced a career-high five hits, Jonathan India was on base six times (three hits, three walks), Winker had three hits, Joey Votto three hits and Kyle Farmer two hits … all in a losing cause.