Marcus Stroman allowed just one hit over eight shutout innings and Dominic Smith belted his second career grand slam as the visiting New York Mets blanked the Cincinnati Reds 7-0 in the rubber game of the three-game series.
For the pitching-depleted Mets, Stroman’s outing couldn’t have come at a better time as he came within an inning of his fourth career complete game and second career shutout. Stroman (7-8) threw just 90 pitches over his eight innings.
Stroman’s outing followed three straight days in which a New York starter failed to complete the fourth inning. Jeurys Familia finished the game by striking out the side in the ninth.
Aristides Aquino had the only hit for the Reds, who failed to get a runner past first base and lost for the fifth time in six games out of the All-Star break.
Jonathan Villar and Luis Guillorme also homered for the Mets, who homered 11 times in the three-game set and scored all seven runs via the long ball Wednesday afternoon.
The offense was more than enough for Stroman, who also fielded his position flawlessly, fielding a sharp comebacker and starting a pair of double plays. Stroman hit Jonathan India to begin the first and allowed a sharp single to left to Aquino to open the third. The only other baserunner against Stroman was Joey Votto, who walked in the seventh.
The Mets took advantage of an erratic Jeff Hoffman (3-5), who was coming off the 10-day injured list. Hoffman was making his first start since May 25 when he left with right shoulder impingement.
Hoffman walked the first batter of the day — Brandon Nimmo — on five pitches before retiring the next three batters. But he was not as fortunate in the second and third innings. Villar lofted a fly ball that reached the first row of seats in right field in the second for his 10th homer and a 1-0 lead.
The Mets loaded the bases in the third when Nimmo, Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso singled to open the inning. Smith then lofted the first pitch he saw 369 feet to the first row of seats above the left field wall for his second career grand slam, putting the Mets ahead 5-0.
Hoffman lasted just four innings, allowing seven hits, five runs and three walks without a strikeout.