Senga roughed up early, Mets bats dead again in 5-0 rubber game loss to Reds

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Mets Reds Francisco Alvarez
New York Mets’ Francisco Alvarez, right, is tagged out at home plate by Cincinnati Reds catcher Curt Casali in the seventh inning of a baseball game in Cincinnati, Thursday, May 11, 2023. The Reds won 5-0. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Kodai Senga was bopped for four runs in the first inning and Mets bats continued to struggle in a 5-0 rubber-game loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on Thursday afternoon.

This is the 13th loss in the last 17 games for the struggling Mets (18-20), who rode a superb effort from Justin Verlander on Wednesday night in a 2-1 loss, which bailed out an inefficient offense that could fare no better a day later. 

The Reds threw four pitchers in a bullpen game, allowing just six hits against a New York attack that had averaged just 2.5 runs per game in their previous seven outings. 

Meanwhile, they were playing from behind from the jump as the Mets yielded at least one run in the first inning for the ninth time in their last 10 games. 

All four of Cincinnati’s runs came with two outs after Senga gave up a lead-off double to Jonathan India before getting TJ Friedl to pop out and striking out Spencer Steer. The Reds recorded three straight hits off Senga to make it 2-0, Jake Fraley singling home India before and coming around to score on a Nick Senzel double. Following a Henry Ramos walk, singled to score two more and put the hosts up comfortably.

Kodai Senga Mets Reds
New York Mets’ Kodai Senga throws during the second inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Thursday, May 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Senga would settle, striking out the side in the second on his way to punching out five in a row while facing the minimum between the second and fourth innings. But in the fifth, Steer launched his fifth home run of the season over the left-center field wall to make it a five-run game.

The righty got the hook after the fifth, finishing his day with eight hits allowed to go with those five runs alongside seven strikeouts and a walk. 

Francisco Alvarez, who collected two hits on Thursday, punched a double the opposite way down the right-field line in the seventh to set the Mets up for an opportunity to get on the board, but he was thrown out at home with two outs following a Francisco Lindor single to right. 

It was their lone hit with runners in scoring position as they went 1-for-6.

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