NEW YORK (AP) Jacob deGrom was back in 2018 form - and so were his New York Mets teammates.
Jose Iglesias homered off Edwin Diaz with two outs in the ninth inning to give the Cincinnati Reds a 1-0 victory Wednesday night as the Mets wasted seven shutout innings from their $137.5 million ace.
Last year's NL Cy Young Award winner allowed only three hits and struck out six , pitching out of trouble a couple of times after going 0-3 with a 9.69 ERA in his previous three starts. He missed a turn during that stretch, landing on the 10-day injured list with a sore elbow after a bout with strep throat.
''It's definitely a relief. Nobody wants to go out there and stink,'' deGrom said.
He didn't get much help, however, which was often the case last season when deGrom finished 10-9 despite a major league-low 1.70 ERA.
For the second time in three nights, Diaz (0-2) gave up a tiebreaking homer to the Reds in the ninth. Jesse Winker connected against the All-Star closer in the series opener Monday to give Cincinnati a 5-4 victory.
''It's rare. I'm sure it's going to continue to be rare. But it's a little stunning,'' Mets manager Mickey Callaway said.
The diminutive Iglesias pulled an 89 mph slider into the left field corner for his second home run this year and 23rd overall in eight big league seasons.
A frustrated Diaz snapped his head and yelled on the mound after the ball cleared the fence.
''Just a huge home run for us. Says a lot about him as a player and a hitter in big spots. To do it right there off of Diaz is impressive,'' Reds manager David Bell said. ''The runs aren't easy right now, but guys aren't giving in to that. You just keep going and you never know when the big hit is going to come. In this series, so far, we've done it off a really good pitcher.''
Zach Duke (2-1) got one out and Michael Lorenzen worked a perfect ninth for his second save as closer Raisel Iglesias was rested on a misty, 50-degree night.
Winker made a sliding catch in foul territory on Brandon Nimmo's fly to left for the final out. Winker waved bye-bye to Mets fans seated nearby as he got up and trotted off.
''That was a great game all around,'' Jose Iglesias said. ''We never gave up. Eight, nine hard innings and then in the end it paid off.''
Anthony DeSclafani, from nearby New Jersey, struck out eight over 5 2/3 sharp innings in his first appearance at Citi Field. He has permitted only one run in 17 2/3 innings over his last three starts.
The right-hander entered 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA in four games (three starts) against the Mets, who fell back to .500 at 15-15 after Diaz served up another untimely long ball.
''These are professional hitters. If I don't execute, they're going to make me pay for it,'' he said through a translator.
LIKE A TWIG
An angry Yasiel Puig snapped his bat in half on his left thigh after striking out against deGrom with two on in the fourth.
Reds: Bell said he thinks 2B Scooter Gennett (right groin) has an MRI coming up and the team might have an update on him in the next few days.
Mets: Struggling setup man Jeurys Familia went on the 10-day injured list because of a sore right shoulder and LHP Ryan O'Rourke was called up from Triple-A Syracuse. O'Rourke got two outs in the eighth, his first big league appearance since 2016 with Minnesota. ... 2B Robinson Cano went 1 for 4 with a double in his return to the lineup after missing two games with a swollen left hand. Cano was hit by a pitch Sunday from Milwaukee LHP Gio Gonzalez in the first inning. ... Lefty reliever Justin Wilson, sidelined since April 20 with a sore elbow, threw on flat ground and looked really good, according to Callaway. ''He's getting closer and closer and he'll throw off the mound again and we'll try to figure out if he needs to face some live hitters before he's activated,'' Callaway said.
BEEN A WHILE
It was the first time the Reds won 1-0 on the road since Jay Bruce homered for them in St. Louis on July 29, 2015.
Cincinnati added a fresh arm to the bullpen before the game, recalling RHP Matt Bowman from Triple-A Louisville. OF Phillip Ervin was optioned to Louisville.
Reds: RHP Tyler Mahle (0-3, 4.50 ERA) pitches the finale of the four-game series Thursday afternoon. He has lost three straight starts.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (1-3, 6.45) tries to get on track when New York finishes a 10-game homestand with a noon matinee. Syndergaard has lost his last two outings and hasn't gone more than five innings in any of his past three, giving up 14 earned runs and 27 hits over 15 innings during that span. But he is 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA in five career starts vs. Cincinnati.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports