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Mets 4, Reds 3

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Lucas Duda made quite a first impression in his audition for the New York Mets' first-base job on Friday, when he hit two-run homers in consecutive at-bats to lead the Mets to a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field.

The start at first base was the second straight for Duda, but the first since manager Terry Collins informed him after Thursday's game that he would get several starts and the opportunity to distance himself from fellow first basemen Ike Davis and Josh Satin, each of whom had a start in the season's first two games.

Duda was 0-for-12 entering the game but drew a walk in the first before delivering two-run homers in the fourth and sixth innings. It was the fifth two-homer game of Duda's career and his first since April 19, 2013.

Duda's outburst made a winner out of starting pitcher Jenrry Mejia, who allowed one run and struck out a career-high eight over six solid innings as the Mets (1-3) avoided the fifth 0-4 start in franchise history.

Mejia allowed four hits and five walks but stranded seven runners. He ended his night by striking out opposing pitcher Mike Leake to leave runners at the corners in the sixth.

Left-handed reliever John Lannan gave up a two-run homer to Jay Bruce in the seventh, but right-hander Kyle Farnsworth tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings -- and got an assist from catcher Anthony Recker, who threw out speedy pinch-runner Billy Hamilton for the second out of the eighth -- before Jose Valverde earned his first save despite allowing a hit and a walk in the ninth.

Bruce went 2-for-5 and had all three RBIs for the Reds (1-3). Center fielder Roger Bernadina drew three walks and catcher Brayan Pena reached base in three of his four plate appearances via two walks and a single.

Leake allowed four runs on five hits and three walks while striking out three over 6 2/3 innings.

The Reds took advantage of two Mejia walks to open a 1-0 lead in the third.

With one out, Bernadina walked and went to second on second baseman Brandon Phillips' comebacker that bounced off Mejia and caromed to catcher Travis d'Arnaud. First baseman Joey Votto then worked a walk and Bruce followed with an RBI single to center.

The Mets took the lead on consecutive pitches in the fourth, when right fielder Curtis Granderson delivered his third double in the last two games before Duda crushed a two-run homer to right.

NOTES: Intermittent daylong rains resumed shortly after the first pitch, but the game started on time -- which was surely welcome news to the Reds, who endured a total of six hours and 22 minutes of rain delays on Wednesday and Thursday in Cincinnati. ... Reds RHP Jonathon Broxton, who is on the disabled list with a forearm injury, was scheduled to begin a rehab appearance at Double-A Pensacola on Friday night. Manager Bryan Price said Broxton would pitch again Saturday and could be activated Monday as long as he comes out of the weekend healthy. ... Reds RHP Mat Latos, who underwent left knee surgery on Feb. 14, is scheduled to make his next rehab start on Tuesday for Triple-A Louisville. Latos threw 75 pitches in his first rehab start on Wednesday. ... The Mets' 39 strikeouts through their first three games were four shy of the big league record, set last season by Houston. ... RHP Rafael Montero, one of the Mets' top prospects, threw six shutout innings in his season debut for Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday night.
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