The Mets came into Cincinnati Monday night having lost their previous six games and falling out of first place in the National League East.
They sent P.J. Conlon to the mound in his Major League debut to get the team on the right track. New York needed a win big time, and if they were going to do it, it was going to be against a Reds team that had just eight wins entering the night.
While Conlon was bumped from the game after just 3.2 innings, the Mets’ bats exploded, launching four home runs and tallying seven runs to snap their week-long skid.
“We’re excited as hitters to come here,” Conforto said. “We talked about it. Here it’s a small park.”
Amed Rosario brought the second run of the game home with a sacrifice fly in the second, but it was in the third the Mets offense really exploded.
Bruce spent 2008-16 with the Reds and some of his best offensive years came with the team he came up with.
Their love for him was apparent, as when he circled the bases, they showered him with chants of “BRRRRUUUUCCEEE!”
“Obviously every Reds fan wants the Reds to win, but we went through a lot together,” Bruce said. “We had a lot of time together here and a lot of experiences.”
Yoenis Cespedes, returning to the lineup just a day after he departed from the Mets series finale with Colorado with a tight hip, drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth to make it a then 6-1 game.
Gonzalez played yard again in the fifth, launching his fifth home run of the campaign to give New York a commanding 7-3 lead.
The veteran first baseman came into the night 11-for-25 against Bailey, who he hit his first home run off.
“I’ve been fortunate in my career against him,” Gonzalez said. “It’s one of those things that you can’t explain. When you go out there, you just take your hack and I’ve been on the good side of it more often than not against him, but he’s a great pitcher.”
The Mets bullpen surrendered three more runs to make it a 7-6 game, but Jeurys Familia shut the door in the ninth to give New York a much needed victory.
“I’m sure we’re going to have more nights like this,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “This is a hitter-friendly ballpark, obviously. Some popups go out here. So you come in and you’re kind of excited, especially offensively. And good things happen.”
New York will look to take the series Tuesday night with Jason Vargas toeing the rubber.