CINCINNATI -- Scooter Gennett's ascension to the National League's upper crust of infielders continued Thursday, when he hit his career-high 23rd home run off NL Cy Young candidate Jacob deGrom in the Reds' 7-2 win over the Mets at Great American Ball Park.
Gennett cracked a two-run homer off deGrom in the second inning, then added an RBI double against deGrom in the fifth to finish 2-for-4. Joey Votto and Stuart Turner homered as well to back Reds starter Robert Stephenson, who completed six innings to submit his first quality start of the season.
The win allowed the Reds to finish August with a 15-14 record.
"It may have gone unnoticed," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "If we lose that game, we have a sub-.500 month. For a team in our spot in the standings, it may not seem like much, but it means a lot. We really want to build a trend going forward."
Also lasting six innings, deGrom limited the damage to four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks, temporarily overtaking Jeff Samardzija for the NL innings lead. deGrom also ranks second in the league in strikeouts -- he established a career high with 206 -- though he could not record his 15th victory, which would have matched the NL's leaders.
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"I'm going to tell you something, he's not happy," Mets manager Terry Collins said of deGrom. "You go talk to him, this guy wants to win. He wants to win desperately. And he knows what his job is. That's why he gets frustrated every once in a while. He wants to compete. It's nice to run him out there. I'll take my chances every night he's there."
Billy Hamilton also stole his league-leading 55th base for the Reds, while the Mets' Travis Taijeron picked up his first career hit, a double to left off Stephenson in the fourth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Scooting home: Mets shortstop Amed Rosario couldn't quite make a play on Eugenio Suarez's ground ball to lead off the second inning, resulting in an infield hit. If the sequence seemed relatively benign at the time, Gennett made sure it would prove impactful when he followed with a two-run homer to give Cincinnati a 2-1 lead. The Reds never trailed again.
Deep and gone: If the Mets had designs on a late comeback, Votto increased the degree of difficulty when he launched a Jeurys Familia splitter a Statcast-projected 397 feet in the seventh inning, parking it halfway up the right-field seating bowl. The solo home run was Votto's 34th, tying him with Cody Bellinger for second in the National League behind Giancarlo Stanton. It also put Votto three shy of the career-high 37 he hit back in 2010. More >
"The goal is now to get to 200 innings. The guys who are normally the best in the game pitch 200 innings. So that's one of my goals this year."
-- deGrom, who leads the NL with 178 2/3 innings
"He built a little street cred with the guys,"
-- Price, on Stephenson after he took a shot off the hip in the third and stayed in the game
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
deGrom's career ERA in day games jumped to 1.94, which is still MLB's lowest among pitchers with 200 or more matinee innings dating back to at least 1913. Next on the list is Mellie Wolfgang, whose five-year career with the White Sox from 1914-18 produced a 2.15 day-game ERA.
Mets: The Mets plan to volunteer in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts Friday during an off-day in Houston. They will then report to Minute Maid Park for a split doubleheader Saturday, playing the first games in Houston since the storm. Matt Harvey will come off the disabled list to start the 2:10 p.m. ET opener opposite Charlie Morton, with Seth Lugo and Brad Peacock pitching the 8:10 ET nightcap.
Reds: The Reds open a three-game series in Pittsburgh with a 7:05 p.m. ET game on Friday. It's a rematch of the Luis Castillo - Gerrit Cole duel from Saturday, which Cole won, 1-0. His home run was the difference.
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