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Chris Bassitt throws gem as Mets beat Reds for fourth straight win

Chris Bassitt was worthy of a gold star for his effectiveness and yet another for longevity Monday night. 

The Mets had utilized their bullpen plenty in playing five games over four days against the Braves, and extra rest for that group was a commodity, even a day after many of manager Buck Showalter’s top options remained idle. 

Bassitt responded to the challenge with eight strong innings that led a 5-1 victory over the Reds at Citi Field. The Mets won for the sixth time in seven games and widened their NL East lead on the Braves to seven games. 

Already at 95 pitches, Bassitt was entrusted the eighth and struck out potential tying run Aristides Aquino after allowing a two-out single to Jake Fraley. The right-hander Bassitt matched his longest outing of the season, against the Brewers on June 14. 

Chris Bassitt reacts during his dominant outing.
Chris Bassitt reacts during his dominant outing.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Bassitt allowed one run (unearned) on eight hits with eight strikeouts and one walk, finishing with a season-high 114 pitches. It followed dominant performances from Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom over the previous two games. 

The Reds threatened against Bassitt in the sixth, loading the bases on two infield hits and a hit batter. But with two outs, the right-hander jammed Aquino for a broken-bat pop fly to conclude the inning. 

Joey Votto’s RBI fielder’s choice in the fourth gave the Reds their only run against Bassitt after Pete Alonso dropped Eduardo Escobar’s throw (ruled an error) on a grounder. 

Chris Bassitt pitches on Monday during the Mets' win over the Reds.
Chris Bassitt pitches on Monday during the Mets’ win over the Reds.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

In his Reds debut, former Mets first-round draft pick Justin Dunn — who grew up in Freeport — lasted 4 ²/₃ innings and allowed three earned runs on five hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Dunn arrived to the Reds in a trade last spring from the Mariners and opened the season on the injured list with a shoulder strain. The Mets traded Dunn to the Mariners before the 2019 season as part of the deal that yielded Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano. The primary prospect in that trade was outfielder Jarred Kelenic. 

Starling Marte blasted a two-run homer in the first inning to give the Mets an early lead. After Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch, Marte cleared the left-field fence for his 12th homer. It marked the 21st time the Mets scored multiple runs in the first inning this season. 

Daniel Vogelbach’s torrid start to his Mets career continued with an RBI single in the third that extended the Mets lead to 3-0. Francisco Lindor walked and stole second before Vogelbach delivered with two outs. Vogelbach’s RBI was his seventh in 14 games since arriving in a trade with the Pirates. Lindor has scored at least one run in 11 straight games, two short of David Wright’s club record. 

Starling Marte rounds the bases after his two-run home run in the first inning.
Starling Marte rounds the bases after his two-run homer in the first inning.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST
Tyler Naquin hits a two-run triple in the eighth inning.
Tyler Naquin hits a two-run triple in the eighth inning.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Lindor was robbed of a two-run homer in the fifth when Albert Almora Jr. reached above the center-field fence to catch his long drive. 

Tyler Naquin, facing his former team for the first time since he was traded to the Mets last month, smashed a two-run triple in the eighth that provided the bullpen with a cushion. Vogelbach’s double started the rally before Jeff McNeil was hit by a pitch.

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