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Votto, Aquino go back-to-back as Reds edge Mets 4-3

CINCINNATI (AP) — Joey Votto and Aristides Aquino homered on consecutive pitches, Wade Miley worked effectively into the seventh inning and the Cincinnati Reds snapped a four-game losing streak Tuesday night with a 4-3 win over the New York Mets.

Jonathan India hit his first leadoff homer, a no-doubt shot to center field that glanced off the batter’s eye. Pinch-hitter Tyler Stephenson delivered a key sacrifice fly in the seventh as the Reds kept New York from its first three-game winning streak since June 14-16 against the Cubs.

Pete Alonso went deep in the first inning for the second consecutive game, one night after he and the Mets hit seven homers in the series opener for a wild 15-11 victory in 11 innings. But the NL East leaders lost yet another pitcher to injury — spot starter Robert Stock exited after one inning — and this time fell short in their comeback bid.

Miley (8-4) faced runners in every inning except one, but allowed just one past second base after Alonso connected. The left-hander finished with a season-high eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. He gave up seven hits, two runs — one earned — and two walks while improving to 4-0 over his last nine starts.

“I wanted to right the ship a little bit and compete my tail off,” Miley said. “I wanted to put us in position to win. I didn’t go as deep as I wanted to, but the Mets did a good job seeing a lot of pitches.”

Miley got help from running catches by right fielder Aquino and NL All-Star left fielder Jesse Winker, both frustrating Michael Conforto. Winker punctuated his catch by lightly chest-bumping the wall.

“Miley was the perfect pitcher to have after the start we’ve had,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He’s been pitching so well and he’s fun to play behind. He’s such a competitor.”

Brad Brach and Heath Hembree bridged the gap to Amir Garrett, who got Jeff McNeil to pop up with a runner on for his seventh save. Garrett pointed for a second at the Mets’ dugout before celebrating with his teammates.

“It was important that we get a win like that,” Garrett said. “We were going through a rough patch. It was a good team win. It feels awesome to get a win like that. My teammates are awesome.”

Stephen Nogosek (0-1), called on in the second inning for emergency relief after Stock left while warming up due to right hamstring tightness, allowed three hits and two runs with five strikeouts in a career-high three innings. The right-hander was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse on Monday and made his first major league appearance since 2019.

“It’s one of those funky situations,” Nogosek said. “You can’t prepare for it. I knew I was the long guy today, so when I saw the trainer go out there, I tried to stretch and get it going. I tried to get hot. It was nice to not be able to think – just get out and pitch in my first outing of the year.”

Stock was recalled before the game from Syracuse to make his second 2021 start.

Bench coach Dave Jauss managed the Mets again while Luis Rojas served the second game of his two-game suspension.

Votto and Aquino teamed up in the third. Votto’s shot sailed deep into the right-center seats, and Aquino’s liner on Nogosek’s next pitch skipped off the top of the left-center field wall and clanged off the roof of Cincinnati’s bullpen.

“I told Votto that he looked like The Punisher out there,” Aquino said through a translator, referring to his own nickname. “We high-fived each other. After I hit mine, we talked about that.”

Jonathan Villar scored New York’s second run in the seventh on Votto’s error at first base on a low throw from Brach, who bounced back against McNeil to start an inning-ending double play.

FEELING AT HOME

Even with the loss, the Mets still have a league-best .625 winning percentage (35-21) at Great American Ball Park.

SNEAKING UP

Votto’s homer boosted his career RBI total to 1,008, fifth on the Reds career list and one behind Hall of Famer Frank Robinson.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (hamstring) was roughed up in a short rehab outing for Syracuse. … LHP David Peterson (right side soreness) is playing catch and is expected to start throwing off a mound this weekend, Rojas said. Peterson went on the 10-day injured list July 1. … The Mets placed backup infielder José Peraza on the 10-day IL with a broken right middle finger and recalled RHP Geoff Hartlieb from Syracuse. RHP Jerad Eickhoff was designated for assignment.

Reds: RHP Lucas Sims (right elbow), OF Nick Senzel (left knee) and INF Alex Blandino (right hand) are all expected to start rehab assignments next week, Bell said. … RHP Tejay Antone (right forearm) will start throwing bullpens next week.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Marcus Stroman (6-8) tied his season high by allowing eight hits in five innings of New York’s 4-1 loss Friday at Pittsburgh.

Reds: RHP Jeff Hoffman (3-4) is scheduled to be reinstated from the 10-day injured list Wednesday to make his first start since June 26. He’s been sidelined with a sore right shoulder.

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