CINCINNATI (AP) — Laynce Nix hit a solo, pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the 11th inning Monday night, powering Cincinnati to a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets and keeping the Reds perfect in extra innings.
Nix hit a drive off Manny Acosta (1-1) that barely cleared the wall in right-center field with one out, setting up another joyous scrum at the plate. It was his first career game-ending homer.
Nick Masset (3-1) pitched the last two innings, giving up two singles in the 11th. Then, the Reds pulled out another one at the end — eight of their 13 wins have come in their final at-bat. They are 3-0 in extra innings.
Drew Stubbs also homered for the Reds, leading off the first inning with the first one allowed by Oliver Perez this season. Joey Votto also had an RBI single off the left-hander, who lasted six innings and remained winless in six starts since Aug. 18.
Both teams have taken similar bottom-to-top paths in the last two weeks.
The Mets won eight in a row, going from last to first in the NL East. Two losses at Philadelphia over the weekend dropped them a half-game behind the Phillies heading into the Cincinnati series. The Reds won five straight, climbing to second place in the NL Central, before dropping their last two at first-place St. Louis.
Which one would keep falling?
The Mets were playing on little rest. They lost in Philadelphia 11-5 on Sunday night, and didn't get to their hotel in Cincinnati until nearly 4 a.m.
The offense looked a little sleepy, but that wasn't new. Four of the Mets' eight starting position players were batting .257 or less heading into the game. The Reds gave them a little help to get going.
Stubbs initially broke the wrong way on Ike Davis' liner to center with two outs in the second inning. Stubbs never fully recovered, the ball deflecting off his glove for a two-base error. Jeff Francoeur singled off Mike Leake to tie it 1-1, only his fourth hit in his last 18 at-bats.
Jose Reyes doubled home another run in the sixth, tying it at 2.
Leake, who made the jump from Arizona State directly to the majors, had another solid showing. The unbeaten right-hander gave up four hits and two runs — one earned — in six innings, lowering his ERA to 2.94.
NOTES: Mets 3B David Wright made the best play of the game, catching Stubbs' grounder down the line and making a throw from foul territory while his momentum carried him away from first. Got him by a step. ... New York's Jason Bay saw his hitting streak end at nine games. ... Reds OF Chris Dickerson had surgery on his right hand and wrist. He's expected to be sidelined for at least a month. ... It was the fourth career leadoff homer by Stubbs and the first by the Reds this season. ... RF Chris Heisey made his major league debut, going 0 for 5. He was the Reds' minor league player of the year last season.