NEW YORK -- Jay Bruce's line-drive home run leading off the sixth inning snapped a tie Monday and lifted the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-3 win over the New York Mets in front of an announced crowd of 23,038 at Citi Field.
The Reds (27-18) won for the eighth time in 10 games while the Mets (17-25) fell for the eighth time in their last 11 contests.
Bruce's homer to right off Shaun Marcum capped an odd feast-or-famine duel between starters Marcum and Johnny Cueto and made a winner out of Cueto, who was pitching for the Reds for the first time since suffering a strained right lat on April 13.
Cueto allowed all three runs on three hits and four walks and struck out eight in five innings. He wriggled out of bases-loaded jam in the first and retired the final eight batters he faced, including six by strikeout.
Marcum gave up three runs in a 32-pitch first inning and ended up allowing four runs on six hits and one walk in six innings while striking out a season-high seven. He set down 10 in a row between the first and fourth innings and allowed only one more runner as far as third base prior to Bruce's blast.
Bruce's RBI double capped the Reds' three-run first. Brandon Phillips preceded Bruce's hit with a two-run single. Joey Votto, the reigning NL Player of the Week, had two singles for the Reds.
Aroldis Chapman, the Reds' sixth pitcher, notched his ninth save with a 1-2-3 ninth. He had blown his last two save chances
Marlon Byrd's three-run homer in the third inning -- the Mets' last hit off Cueto -- tied the score. Lucas Duda had a pair of singles while Rick Ankiel reached base twice in his home debut for the Mets.
The Mets suffered from some typical tough luck in falling behind 3-0 in the first. With one out and Shin-Soo Choo on first, Votto hit a one-hopper that bounced off the first-base bag and into right field. Votto was awarded second on interference after he bumped into Ike Davis, who had his back to Votto and made no attempt to get out of the way.
The Mets tied the game in the third, when Ankiel singled and David Wright walked before Byrd launched his long homer into the left-field seats.
NOTES: Votto hit .583 last week and reached base in nine of his final 11 plate appearances. ... To make room for Cueto on the active roster, the Reds optioned infielder Neftali Soto to Triple-A Louisville. Soto made his major-league debut with the Reds on Saturday and was hitless in his only plate appearance. ... Shortstop Zack Cozart missed his second straight start due to illness. Cesar Izturis started again in place of Cozart. ... The Mets signed right-handed reliever David Aardsma to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas. Aardsma recorded 69 saves for the Mariners from 2009-2010 but underwent hip surgery and Tommy John surgery in 2011 and has made just one big-league appearance (last year with the Yankees) since then. Aardsma was released by the Yankees in spring training and by the Marlins last Wednesday. ... Mets right-handed reliever Frank Francisco, who hasn't pitched in the bigs since undergoing surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow in December, has resumed a throwing program. Francisco appeared ready to return to the Mets before suffering a mild elbow strain earlier this month.