McCoy: Stroman stifles Reds, Mets take series

The good vibes from ending a four-game losing streak lasted only one day for the Cincinnati Reds.

A near-perfect pitching performance bv Marcus Stroman and a grand-slam home run by Dominic Smith was all the New York Mets needed to force feed a 7-0 defeat on the Reds Wednesday afternoon in Great American Ball Park.

The defeat was the Reds fifth in six games since the All-Star break and they dropped two of three to the Mets.

Stroman allowed one hit, one walk and one hit batsmen over his eight innings. Jonathan India was hit by a pitch leading off the first, Aristides Aquino singled leading off the third and Joey Votto walked with two outs in the seventh. And that was it as no Cincinnati base runner discovered second base.

It got no better when Stroman left. Jeurys Familia pitched the ninth and finished the one-hit shutout by striking out the side.

“We ran into a good one today,” said Reds manager David Bell referring to Stroman. “He was at his best. He had a lot of movement to his pitches, did a great job of changing speeds. He just pitched a really solid game and was able to shut us down.”

Reds starter Jeff Hoffman also had a lot of movement on his pitches, too, but unfortunately the movement was baseballs bursting off New York’s bats.

It was Hoffman’s first start off the injured list and it was a lot like his last rehab start for Class A Dayton, where he gave up three home runs in four innings.

It began in the second when he gave up a two-out solo home run to Jonathan Villar.

It totally exploded in the third when he gave up three straight singles and Smith unleashed the grand slam to make it 5-0.

Tony Santillan replaced Hoffman in the fifth and was quickly torched with a two-run home run by Luis Guillorme, his first of the year and second of his career.

The Mets hit 10 home runs during the three-game series and scored 25 runs, 19 via home runs, including all seven Wednesday.

“Really, the home runs accounted for the runs, but it wasn’t so much the homers off Hoffman as it was getting behind in the counts,” said Bell. “That made it a little tougher on him. There seemed to be a lot of 2-and-0 counts. That’s what created the opportunities for the Mets to get off good swings and get baserunners.”

After a day off, the Reds conclude the homestand with a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals, a battle for second place.

And Bell remains ever optimistic.

“We’ll be fine,” he said. “We have tomorrow off to regroup and then we have a big series with the Cardinals coming to town.

“We have a lot to look forward to, a lot of great things have happened to get us to this point where we can look forward to the big series. That’s really all you need.”

The Reds will send Tyler Mahle, Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray to the mound against the Cardinals.

FRIDAY’S GAME

Cardinals at Reds, 7:10 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410