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  W: N. Syndergaard (2-3)   L: T. Mahle (0-4)
9:10 AM PT10:10 AM MT11:10 AM CT12:10 PM ET12:10 ET16:10 GMT0:10 9:10 AM MST11:10 AM EST11:40 AM VEN20:10 UAE11:10 AM CT, May 2, 2019
Citi Field, Flushing, New York  Attendance: 21,445

Reds in position to win series vs. Mets

The Cincinnati Reds aren't getting a lot out of their offense, but they have received enough this week against the New York Mets to put themselves in position to win a four-game series.

On Thursday, the Mets will need a lot more than they've gotten thus far from potential ace Noah Syndergaard in order to salvage the split.

Syndergaard will look to follow in the footsteps of Jacob deGrom and begin righting himself Thursday afternoon, when he takes the mound for the Mets against the Reds in the series finale.

Syndergaard (1-3, 6.35 ERA) is scheduled to oppose the Reds' Tyler Mahle (0-3, 4.50) in a battle of right-handers.

The Reds eked out a 1-0 win Wednesday night, when Jose Iglesias homered off Mets closer Edwin Diaz with two outs in the top of the ninth. Cincinnati earned a 5-4 win in the same fashion Monday night, when Jesse Winker hit a two-out tiebreaking solo homer off Diaz in the ninth inning.

The Reds own the worst average in the big leagues (.210) and rank 25th out of 30 teams with 110 runs. The victory Wednesday improved Cincinnati to 3-14 in games in which it scores three or fewer runs.

"The runs aren't easy right now, but guys aren't giving into that," Reds manager David Bell said following the win. "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."

Syndergaard continued bolstering his reputation as an ace-caliber pitcher last season, when he went 13-4 with a 3.03 ERA. But he has given up at least four runs in each of his last four starts -- including last Saturday, when he took the loss after surrendering five runs over five innings as the Mets fell to the Milwaukee Brewers, 8-6 -- and in five of six outings this season.

The long-haired 26-year-old entered Wednesday with the fourth-highest ERA of the 97 hurlers who have thrown enough innings to qualify for the ERA title.

"I'm not pressing the panic button quite just yet," Syndergaard said Saturday night. "I still have every bit of confidence in my abilities. I'm just not getting the results I want. Something's not clicking, but I really feel like I'm one split second from turning this all around."

The Mets may have seen one struggling starting pitcher begin to turn things around Wednesday, when deGrom tossed seven scoreless innings to lower his ERA From 4.85 to 3.82.

Mahle will also be looking to snap a slump Thursday. The 24-year-old lost his third straight start last Saturday, when he gave up five runs over five innings as the Reds fell to the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-3. Mahle has given up 13 runs over 17 innings in his last three outings as his ERA has risen from 0.82 to 4.50.

Syndergaard is 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA in five career starts against the Reds. Mahle lost his lone start against the Mets on Sept. 7, 2017, when he gave up three runs over four innings as Cincinnati absorbed a 7-2 defeat.

--Field Level Media

Updated May 2, 2019

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