CINCINNATI -- There is perhaps no cure for an ailing offense quite like Great American Ball Park, this smallish stadium just ashore from the Ohio River. Before arriving here, the Mets scored at least one run in six of the 54 innings they played on a winless homestand.
Monday, they scored in each of their first five, taking a 7-6 win from the Reds to snap their six-game losing streak.
"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."
Most all of them took part in the barrage, which began when Michael Conforto hit the game's second pitch over the left-field fence for a leadoff homer. By the fifth, Jay Bruce had also homered at his old stomping grounds, and Adrian Gonzalez had gone deep twice to continue his years-long dominance of Reds starter Homer Bailey.
"Guys were swinging it today," Conforto said. Everybody put together great at-bats. It just felt good to start the game that way."
The Mets needed every bit of the offense. Their own starter, P.J. Conlon, could not escape the fourth inning of his big league debut, allowing three runs and a quartet of extra-base hits. Neither Paul Sewald nor Robert Gsellman could snuff out Cincinnati's offense, which drew within one when Scooter Gennett homered in the eighth. The Mets, who had stopped scoring by that point, needed Jeurys Familia to nail down the final three outs to preserve the victory.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Entering the day 11-for-25 lifetime with six home runs off Bailey, Gonzalez added to his dominance with a single in the first inning and a homer in the third, crushing it a projected 412 feet into the right-center-field bleachers, according to Statcast™. Gonzalez's fifth-inning shot off Jackson Stephens gave him three career multi-homer games at Great American Ball Park.
Bailey started all three.
"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."
Raised in California but born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Conlon became the first Irish-born big leaguer since World War II. The last was Joe Cleary, who recorded a single out for the Washington Senators in 1945. Before that, no Irish-born players had appeared in the big leagues since 1918.
"I've gotten unbelievable support, and all these people reaching out to me yesterday and today," Conlon said. "It means a lot. You could see them in the stands, waving the Irish flags. They're proud of it, and I'm proud of it." More >
HE SAID IT
"The first day off, Mickey came up to me and said, 'Hey, why don't you just not even swing tomorrow? Why don't you just take a full day off, crush the spread, completely relax?' I told him, 'That's probably a good idea, and I may end up doing that.' I didn't end up doing that. I couldn't stay out of the cage." -- Conforto, laughing, on the work he did during two "mental" days off this week
Sidelined for the season's first month after undergoing surgery to remove a broken bone from his glove hand, Jason Vargas has allowed 15 runs in two starts since his return. Upset by his performances, Vargas will seek some marked improvement when he returns to the mound Tuesday for a 7:10 p.m. ET game against right-hander Luis Castillo and the Reds.