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Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco lead Mets to 5th in row

Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco arrived together from Cleveland in the same blockbuster trade in 2021, looking to duplicate the success they enjoyed throughout their careers in Cleveland.

That duo continued their respective excellent second seasons in Flushing and fronted the Mets to their fifth consecutive win Tuesday night, with Lindor blasting his 20th home run of the year to support Carrasco’s 6 ²/₃ innings of two-run ball in a rain-delayed 6-2 victory over the Reds at Citi Field.

Carrasco extended a run of stellar outings by the Mets’ refortified rotation since co-aces Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom rejoined Buck Showalter’s projected quintet of starters. The 35-year-old righty allowed two earned runs on seven hits with one walk and nine strikeouts to post his team-best 13th victory of the year (13-4). He also improved to 5-0 with a 1.69 ERA over seven starts since his last loss on June 28 against the Astros.

Overall, Mets starters have recorded a miniscule staff ERA of 2.23 over 31 games since Scherzer returned from an oblique injury on July 5 — including two recent starts by deGrom — with Taijuan Walker going for the series sweep Wednesday afternoon.

Francisco Lindor belts a two-run homer in the third inning of the Mets' 6-2 win over the Reds.
Francisco Lindor belts a two-run homer in the third inning of the Mets’ 6-2 win over the Reds.
Robert Sabo

With leadoff batter Brandon Nimmo receiving a rare game off, Jeff McNeil added a solo shot for the first-place Mets, who have won 15 of their last 18 games to improve to 72-39. Deadline pickup Mychal Givens, Trevor May and Seth Lugo recorded the final seven outs in relief of Carrasco.

Lindor’s two-run shot to left off Reds lefty Mike Minor in the third inning provided the game’s first runs. In the process, the $341 million switch hitter became the first shortstop in franchise history to record multiple 20-homer campaigns.

Carlos Carrasco allowed just two runs and picked up his 13th run in the Mets' victory.
Carlos Carrasco allowed just two runs and picked up his 13th run in the Mets’ victory.
Robert Sabo

With 77 of his 79 RBIs this season coming while in the game as a shortstop, Lindor also moved within four of Jose Reyes’ club record at the position of 81 in 2006. Lindor also has scored at least one run in 12 consecutive games, tied with Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts for the longest such streak in the majors this season.

McNeil ripped his seventh homer of the year, a solo shot to center in the fourth, before adding a run-scoring single to chase Minor in the sixth for a 4-0 lead.

Jeff McNeil watches his solo homer in the fourth inning of the Mets' win.
Jeff McNeil watches his solo homer in the fourth inning of the Mets’ win.
Robert Sabo

Carrasco, meanwhile, followed Chris Bassitt’s eight innings of one-run ball (none earned) the previous night by carrying the shutout bid through the sixth.

The Reds (44-65) reached Carrasco for singles in each of the first three innings and a walk in the fourth, without scoring a run. He struck out the side in the fifth and retired three batters on just six pitches in the sixth before the Reds got on the board on Jake Fraley’s two-run blast to right-center with one out in the seventh.

Two-out singles later in the inning by Austin Romine and Jonathan India prompted Showalter to summon Givens, who whiffed Nick Senzel to escape the inning.

After being limited to 53 ²/₃ innings over 12 starts in his first season with the Mets due to a hamstring injury suffered in spring training, Carrasco (88 pitches) now has thrown 124 ¹/₃ innings this year, his most since 2018 and second on the team to Bassitt’s 130.

The Mets recouped those two runs in the bottom half on a bases-loaded single by Darin Ruf, who went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .333 (5-for-15) since he was acquired from the Giants at the trade deadline. Ruf and fellow acquisitions Daniel Vogelbach and Tyler Naquin have combined to hit .338 with four homers and 18 RBIs in 80 at-bats with the Mets.

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