The catcher tries to extend his power surge Wednesday afternoon when the Mets wrap up their three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds.
A lifetime .238 hitter, Barajas joined the Mets - his fifth team - in the offseason after hitting 19 homers for Toronto in 2009. The journeyman has given New York (15-12) some pop of late, hitting five homers in his last nine games. He leads the team with seven home runs overall, six with the bases empty.
His go-ahead solo shot in the ninth broke a 4-all tie Tuesday as the Mets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory. Four of Barajas’ last five homers have either tied the game or given the Mets a lead.
“He’s been impressive in that manner,” New York manager Jerry Manuel said. “He’s had some big hits at some big moments.”
While Barajas is 6 for 16 with four homers in his last five games, David Wright(notes) extended his hitting streak to eight games with a solo shot of his own in the fourth. The third baseman has driven in 10 of his team-high 20 runs in the last seven games.
Neither player has ever gone deep against Reds scheduled starter Johnny Cueto(notes) (1-1, 5.33 ERA), with Barajas 0 for 3 and Wright 2 for 8. Additionally, Cueto is coming off his first win after yielding two runs in five innings of a 3-2 victory over St. Louis on Friday. The right-hander did not resume pitching after a 2-hour, 32-minute rain delay in the middle of the sixth.
Cueto has struggled versus the Mets, going 0-2 with a 9.60 ERA in three starts. In his only outing against them last season, he was reached for four runs and nine hits in five innings of a 4-0 loss.
Jonathon Niese(notes) (1-1, 3.10) will try to send Cincinnati (13-14) to its fourth loss in five games. The left-hander has only one win to show for three consecutive solid starts in which he has limited opponents to two earned runs in 18 innings while striking out 20.
Niese notched his first victory Friday, holding Philadelphia to one run and four hits in seven innings of a 9-1 win. The Mets gave him eight runs of support after providing a total of five in his first four starts.
“I’ve been very impressed,” Manuel told the Mets’ official website. “He’s done a real, real good job, and he’s been resilient.”
This will be his first appearance against the Reds.