NEW YORK— On the last day of tough road trip in New York, Reds manager Bryan Price just wanted to listen to “God Bless America” and pay his respects.
Price put his argument with a pair of umpires on pause for the singing of the patriotic song, then resumed the dispute as Cincinnati beat the New York Mets 10-5 Sunday on Tucker Barnhart’s career-high five RBIs.
“Well, I believe in honouring the flag,” Price said.
Cincinnati had rallied for three runs in the seventh to make it 5-all. Scooter Gennett then was called out on strikes by plate umpire Shane Livensparger to end the inning, slammed down his bat and helmet, and was ejected.
Price came out to argue, contesting the call with Livensparger and crew chief Jerry Layne. As they went at it, New York firefighter Makiah Brown and the Mets’ on-field entertainment staff halted their steps before walking over to the dirt area near home plate for the performance.
The Cincinnati skipper stood in between both umpires, their hats off, during Brown’s rendition of “God Bless America.” When she finished, Price and the two umps put their caps back on and resumed the dispute.
“’God Bless America’ gave me a time to realize that it was not a time to get ejected,” Price said. “I had an opportunity before the song began to make my point to the home plate umpire, and Jerry Layne did a good job of just kind of cooling things off like a veteran umpire. . It was probably good timing for the song.”
The Reds had lost the first three games of the series at Citi Field, getting outscored 18-4. Cincinnati had dropped nine in a row on the road against the Mets, dating to 2015.
Jackson Stephens (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Raisel Iglesias got six outs for his 26th save of the season.
The Reds, who a day earlier sealed their fourth straight losing season and 14th in the last 17 seasons, were on their way to getting swept before New York ace Jacob deGrom was pulled after 102 pitches in six innings.
“I would say I used my changeup more today, had a good feel for it, which I think made the slider that much better,” deGrom said.
DeGrom struck out 10 and allowed two hits and three runs. He rebounded from a bad start Tuesday against Philadelphia in which he lasted a career-low 3 2/3 innings and allowed a personal-worst nine runs, six of them earned.
Mets reliever Paul Sewald took over with a 5-2 lead to start the seventh.
Sewald walked Scott Schebler and allowed a single to Barnhart. All-Star Zack Cozart, who had given the Reds an early 2-0 with an RBI single in the first inning, hit his 19th homer of the year, tying it at 5-all.
Jerry Blevins then entered in place of Sewald and All-Star Joey Votto singled before Gennett let a sinker pass over the outside corner for the called strike three.
New York put the tying run on second in the bottom half of the inning but Dominic Smith, who homered and had three RBIs, was thrown out at third trying to advance on a wild pitch with two outs.
The Reds went ahead for good 7-5 when Barnhart hit a line drive that skipped past a stretching Juan Lagares in centre field for a two-run double off Jeurys Familia (1-2), who was pitching for the first time on consecutive days.
“(Sewald) gave me one in the spot I was looking for and (I) put a good swing on it. I thought it was going to get caught by Lagares actually,” said Barnhart, who went 3 for 4. “Then the at-bat there in the eighth, just looking for a fastball in that situation and got it.”
Livensparger originally had ruled Schebler out at the plate on a good relay throw by shortstop Amed Rosario, who played the field for the first time in after suffering a right index finger injury.
Price challenged the play, claiming catcher Travis d’Arnaud had blocked the plate.
Mets manager Terry Collins came out to seek and explanation and was ejected by Layne.
“I looked at the replay five times and there was not one thing that I saw that could’ve possibly overturned it, for me,” Collins said. “He said they couldn’t tell me.”
Barnhart kept up his big day at the plate in the ninth with his three-run shot.
For the second straight day before the game, Mets players and coaches wore caps of first-responder agencies that showed their sacrifice and bravery while aiding during the 9-11 attacks.
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Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard had a minor setback in his quest to return to the rotation when his 50-pitch simulated game was cancelled on Sunday. The 25-year-old righty, who has been out since May 1 due to a torn right lat muscle, was suffering soreness from the rehab start he made Thursday for Class A Brooklyn. Syndergaard instead will throw a bullpen session Tuesday at Wrigley Field.
“We are not going to push him, first of all,” Collins said. We’ll go at his pace and how he feels. He said he was feeling a little sore from the outing the other day and wanted to throw a bullpen and we just said, ‘No, until you feel better we’re not going to do that.’ So we’ll wait.”
Syndergaard injured himself during his start on April 30 at Washington. He is 1-2 with a 3.29 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings.