Cincinnati, OH – Rookie Matt Harvey pitched 7 2/3 stellar innings and added a two-run double, as the New York Mets avoided a three-game sweep with an 8-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday.
Harvey (2-3), who made his major league debut on July 26, took a perfect game into the fifth. In all, the 23-year-old righty was charged with one run on four hits with a walk and eight strikeouts. He now has 34 Ks in five career starts.
"I knew it was going to be a tough lineup. I just wanted to go out and not so much worry about who I was facing, as much as where the call was, where the pitch was supposed to go and try and execute as best I could," said Harvey.
Ike Davis homered and drove in a pair while Jason Bay hit a solo shot for the Mets, who scored just one run over the first two games of the series.
Homer Bailey (10-8) took the loss, allowing six runs -- four earned -- on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out six.
"Physically I feel great. I have no excuses. I'm just not making pitches as consistently as I need to," said Bailey.
Jay Bruce had a seventh-inning RBI double and Ryan Ludwick homered during a three-run ninth for the Reds, who saw their five-game win streak come to an end. They still lead the NL Central by six games.
Entering Thursday, Cincinnati had given up just one run over a 34-inning stretch, but New York used a pair of three-run frames to secure its third win in the last 10 games.
Davis led off the fourth with his 21st homer of the year before a two-out single by Bay and an intentional walk to Kelly Shoppach set up Harvey's blast to the wall in left-center field, which made it 3-0.
In the sixth, Bay belted a one-out homer to right and Shoppach reached on an error by third baseman Scott Rolen. Harvey moved Shoppach up with a sacrifice bunt and Ruben Tejada followed with an RBI double. Mike Baxter then singled home Tejada for a 6-0 lead.
Harvey, who had lost three straight starts after winning his debut, hit Ludwick with a pitch to begin the fifth inning. Rolen followed with a two-out infield single to break up the no-hitter, but Devin Mesoraco grounded out to end the threat.
Brandon Phillips led off the seventh with a double and crossed the plate on Bruce's two-bagger down the right-field line.
Davis tacked on an RBI double in the ninth and scored later in the frame when shortstop Zack Cozart couldn't handle a sharp grounder from Justin Turner.
In the bottom half, Frank Francisco gave up a leadoff homer to Ludwick, an RBI single to Miguel Cairo and a run-scoring double to Cozart before Jon Rauch struck out Wilson Valdez to secure his third save of the season.
Harvey's 34 strikeouts over his first five major league games rank second in Mets history behind Dwight Gooden (36) ... Rauch has allowed just one run over his last 20 appearances dating back to June 28 ... The Reds are 21-9 since Joey Votto left the lineup.