Published April 05, 2014
Flushing, NY – Flushing, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Lucas Duda launched a pair of two-run homers, Jenrry Mejia struck out a career-high eight batters, and the New York Mets claimed their first win of the season with a 4-3 decision over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday in the opener of a three-game set at Citi Field.
Duda took Cincinnati starter Mike Leake deep in the fourth and then again in the sixth to provide plenty of run support for Mejia (1-0), who held the Reds to one run on four hits and five walks over six frames.
"I'm just glad to play and contribute any way I can," said Duda, who was named the starter at first base just hours before the game. "It's just one day."
New York reliever John Lannan served up a two-run blast to Jay Bruce in the seventh that brought the Reds within one, but Kyle Farnsworth fanned Ryan Ludwick to end the frame before working a scoreless eighth.
Free-agent acquisition Jose Valverde then stranded Reds on first and second in the ninth to nail down his first save with the Mets.
Bruce finished 2-for-5 and knocked in all three Cincinnati runs, while Leake (0-1) allowed four runs on five hits and three walks over 6 2/3 frames for the Reds, who dropped two-of-three to St. Louis to open the season.
"It was the Lucas Duda-Jay Bruce show, and Duda won," Leake remarked.
Cincinnati nearly broke through in the opening frame, as Brandon Phillips crushed a 1-2 changeup deep into left field. However, Eric Young, Jr. raced back to the warning track and made a leaping grab at the wall to keep the game scoreless.
The Reds eventually pushed a run across in the third when Bruce followed a two-out walk from Joey Votto with a single to center to score Roger Bernadina, who worked a one-out free pass.
Duda's power display started in the fourth, as he followed Curtis Granderson's leadoff double with a drive over the wall in right-center field to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.
After going down in order in the fifth, New York doubled its lead in the sixth when Duda drilled a 2-1 sinker from Leake over the right-field wall to make it 4-1 in favor of the Mets.
Bruce belted his second homer of the season with two outs in the seventh to slice Cincinnati's deficit to one, but New York's bullpen closed the door over the final two frames to secure the team's first win.
Duda recorded his fifth career multi-homer game ... Mejia, who went 1-2 with a 2.30 earned run average in five starts last season, threw a career-high 101 pitches ... Prior to the game, Young was awarded the Lou Brock Award for leading the National League in steals last year with 46 ... Valverde signed with the Mets as a free agent in February ... Cincinnati went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.