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MLB: Mets take on Reds again after walk-off win

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A few inches prevented Joey Votto from tying a major-league record Saturday night — and bolstered the New York Mets’ belief they’re in the midst of a potentially special season.

The Mets will look to capitalize on the momentum of Saturday’s comeback win when they host Votto and the Cincinnati Reds in the rubber game of a three-game series Sunday afternoon.

Marcus Stroman (7-9, 2.63 ERA) is slated to oppose Vladimir Gutierrez (5-3, 4.75 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.

The Mets overcame a three-run deficit Saturday night when Javier Baez hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning of his New York debut, and Dominic Smith laced the game-tying, two-out RBI single in the ninth before Brandon Drury hit the walk-off single leading off the 10th inning of a 5-4 win.

It was the eighth walk-off victory of the season for the Mets, who maintained their four-game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.

“You start to feel this little kind of steamroll come downhill and really picking up a pace — I think we’re going to be an exciting team to watch down the stretch,” said Rich Hill, who allowed four runs over five innings in his second start with the Mets since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 23. “The goal here is to win the World Series, so however we can do that to get into the playoffs and win the division.”

The Mets would have faced a much bigger deficit heading into the ninth Saturday if Votto’s eighth-inning line drive to right field had been a foot higher.

Instead of a two-run homer that would have extended the Reds’ lead to 6-3, Votto — who had homered in his previous seven games and was trying to become the fourth big-leaguer to go deep in eight straight games — settled for a single. He was stranded there when he and Kyle Farmer were caught in rundowns following a pickoff attempt at first. Farmer eventually was tagged for the third out just before reaching home plate.

“It’s been special and I’ve enjoyed it,” Votto said of the streak before a small grin crawled to his face. “I’ll probably never do it again. But I had a great time doing it, for sure.”

Votto, 37, has 21 homers and 59 RBIs for the season, with a .276 batting average.

Stroman took the loss in the opening game of a doubleheader Monday, when he gave up two runs over five innings as the Mets fell to the Braves 2-0. Gutierrez earned the win Tuesday after allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings as the Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 7-4.

Stroman is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in three career starts against the Reds. Gutierrez didn’t factor into the decision in his lone start against the Mets on July 19, when he gave up six runs over four innings in New York’s 15-11, 11-inning win.

–Field Level Media

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