McCoy: Trio of home runs, Miley lead Reds past Mets

Cincinnati Reds' Aristides Aquino reacts as he runs the bases after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets in Cincinnati, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
Cincinnati Reds' Aristides Aquino reacts as he runs the bases after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets in Cincinnati, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Credit: Aaron Doster

Credit: Aaron Doster

Cincinnati snaps four-game losing streak

The Cincinnati Reds did what they were supposed to do offensively against Triple-A Syracuse Mets pitchers Tuesday night in Great American Ball Park.

And Wiley Wade Miley furnished the pitching during a 4-3 nerve-wracking victory that ended the Reds’ four-game losing streak.

The injury-crushed Mets were forced to call up three pitchers from Syracuse and the Reds ripped three solo home runs off the first two, home runs by Jonathan India, Joey Votto and Aristides Aquino.

The Mets started 31-year-old Robert Stock, a guy who spent a year with the Reds in the minor and who also spent time in the organizations of St. Louis, Houston, San Diego, Philadelphia, Boston, the Chicago Cubs and the Mets.

After Pete Alonso homered in the top of the first, India led the bottom of the first with a home run to tie it, 1-1.

In the second, Stock pulled a hamstring running to first base and was replaced on the mound in the second with another Triple-A Syracuse call-up, Stephen Nogosek.

He retired the first five Reds he faced, three via strikeouts, but Votto and Aquino went deep back-to-back with two outs in the third and a 3-1 Reds lead.

Miley ran out of petrol in the seventh and walked the first two Mets on full counts. After Miley caught Brandon Nimmo looking at strike three for the third straight time, Reds manager David Bell went to the bullpen for Brad Brach.

Alonso tapped one in front of the plate and Brach made a good throw to first base but it ricocheted off Votto’s glove, a run-scoring error.

With two on and one out, Jeff McNeil hit into a double play started by Brach to leave the Reds in front, 3-2.

Miley notched his sixth quality start in his last seven appearances — 6 1/3 innings, two runs (one earned), seven hits, two walks, eight strikeouts, 104 pitches.

And he has pitched games a day after the team lost five times and the Reds have won four, making him The Stopper.

“I just wanted to right the ship little bit, compete my tail off,” said Miley after his eighth win.

He doesn’t dwell about being the stopper and said, “I just try to go into each game and goes as deep as I can and keep it winnable. I try not to think too much and put added pressure on myself.”

Amir Garrett, who pitched a scoreless ninth against the prime portion of the Mets lineup, appreciates Miley.

“The way he gets things done on the field, I’ve never seen anybody like Wade, ever in my career,” said Garrett. “It’s like he was born to be a starting pitcher. He was born to play baseball.”

The Reds scored a run in the seventh off the third Syracuse call-up, Geoff Hartlieb. He walked India to lead the inning and India took second on Winker’s ground ball. Aaron Loup replaced Hartlieb and India eventually scored on pinch-hitter Tyler Stephenson’s sacrifice fly to push the Reds lead to 4-2.

Reds relief pitcher Heath Hembree gave up a one-out single in the eighth to James McCann, then struck out Conforto. But pinch-hitter Luis Guillorme flipped a run-scoring double into the left field corner that sliced Cincinnati’s lead to 4-3.

Hembree went to 3-and-2 on Jonathan Villar and retired him on a weak grounder to first, stranding the tying run on second.

Garrett took the mound for the ninth and immediately placed the potential tying run on first base with a four-pitch walk to Dominic Smith. He struck out Nimmo, the fourth time Nimmo struck out.

Garrett then had to face the ever-dangerous Alonso. He struck him out, too. And McNeil popped out to give Garrett the save.

“What he did tonight was really outstanding,” said Bell. “It’s a tough job pitching against those guys. You walk the first guy and then to stay tough, to lock in and get the job done. It takes a lot of toughness and he really demonstrated that tonight.”

Said the much-maligned Garrett, “We’ve been going through a rough patch so it was important that we were able to get the win. It feels good that I was able to go out there and get the save for my team, man. It sucks when you pitch bad and I’ve been able to get two good outings.”

He pitched a scoreless seventh inning in Monday’s 15-11 loss to the Mets in 11 innings.

In addition to a single and a home run, Aquino went above the wall in the fourth to rob Michael Conforto of a two-run home run that would have tied the game, 3-3, but left it at 3-1.

“It was a great jump,” said Bell. “Off the bat I thought it was a home run or a line drive off the wall. He hasn’t had a lot of starts, so to contribute offensively and then make that play … you just don’t know what might happen if he doesn’t make that play. He is faster than he looks and he has the long reach. He gets good jumps and is really a good outfielder.”