NEW YORK -- Seth Lugo may not have completely quieted criticisms of his ability to pitch deep into games, but he took a notable step forward Friday in the Mets' 5-1 win over the Reds at Citi Field.
Needing just 84 pitches to complete six innings, Lugo blanked the Reds in his third start back from the disabled list, allowing just four hits and a walk. Though he did not stick around long enough to face the entire Reds lineup a third time, he retired four of the five batters he saw that often. That had been Lugo's bugaboo in previous starts.
"I just thought he deserved an opportunity to see if he could go out and get them out in the sixth," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He went out and made some good pitches."
It helped that Lugo spent most of the night pitching with a lead. Jose Reyes homered twice off Reds starter Amir Garrett, and Travis Taijeron added his first career long ball, leading the Mets to their first three-game winning streak since July 20-22.
Garrett, who played two years of basketball at nearby St. John's University before leaving to pursue a baseball career, allowed four runs in his first start since June 20. As a result, the Reds lost for the 22nd time in their last 26 games against the Mets dating back to 2013.
"They were able to get some balls up in the air and out of the ballpark," Reds manager Bryan Price said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Twice as nice: Two innings after cracking his first home run over the left-field fence, Reyes gave the Mets a 4-0 lead with his second -- a two-run shot that plated Lugo in the fifth. That gave Reyes 101 career home runs with the Mets, making him the 13th player to reach triple digits in franchise history. Overall, Reyes has 138 career homers for four teams.
"I watched the video, and I don't know how he got that," Garrett said of Reyes' second homer. "It was low and off of the plate. He went down there and he got it. It was a nice swing. That's why these guys are big league hitters. They can get those, but it wasn't a bad pitch. It was where I wanted it, and he just went down there and got it." More >
Have to start somewhere: Taijeron also has 138 career homers, though his are split among the Majors, Minors and Winter Ball. The longtime Mets farmhand hit his first career big league homer to open the scoring against Garrett in the second. He didn't have much trouble procuring the ball, which bounced off the facing of the seating bowl and back onto the field.
"It's a good feeling, always, the first one," Taijeron said. "Hopefully, more to come."
"Does that mean that I'm old?" --Reyes, the second-oldest Met behind Norichika Aoki, on his status as a clubhouse veteran
FROM THE TRAINER'S ROOM
Mets shortstop Amed Rosario sat out his fifth consecutive game due to a bruised right index finger. But Rosario took swings in an indoor cage Friday, and the Mets are hopeful he can return at some point this weekend.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW
Prior to the game, the Mets selected the contract of infielder Phillip Evans, last year's Double-A Eastern League batting champion who hit .279 with 11 home runs this season at Triple-A Las Vegas. Evans debuted as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning, scalding a line drive to second base. His reward? An inning-ending double play.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Mets called for a replay review in the eighth inning, contending that Phillip Ervin violated the slide rule as he barreled toward second base on a fielder's choice. But umpires confirmed that there was no violation of the rule.
WHAT'S NEXT Reds:Homer Bailey is 4-7 with a 7.24 ERA in 14 starts this season but has a 3.00 ERA over his last three starts. Bailey will try to keep quality pitching going when the series continues at 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Mets:Rafael Montero returns to the mound Saturday, looking to build upon the 3-1 record and 3.45 ERA he's submitted over the last four weeks. Montero took a one-hitter into the ninth inning the last time he saw the Reds, Aug. 30 in Cincinnati.