NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Not only did the Cincinnati Reds have to face three of the Mets’ top young starters this weekend, they got beat at the plate by one of them, too.
Steven Matz was the latest prized arm to excel against the Reds in a three-game sweep, and he had three hits and a record four RBIs in his major league debut to lead New York over Cincinnati 7-2 Sunday.
“I think they have a great rotation,” Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips said. “They have a lot of great guys over there and they pitched very well against us and you tip your hat when it’s due.”
The Reds scored just four runs in the series while facing Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Matz.
Phillips led off with a homer off Matz, and Todd Frazier connected in the fourth for his 25th long ball to tie it 2-all. Phillips has hit safely in all 32 road games he’s played against the Mets.
Phillips’ hit was initially ruled a single off the wall. The call was overturned after a replay review of 59 seconds, giving Phillips a home run on his 34th birthday.
But the Reds had little success otherwise against the rookie pitcher.
In 7 2-3 innings, Matz allowed five hits and two runs, walking three and striking out six. Some fans booed when manager Terry Collins came out to get the Long Island lefty after 110 pitches.
“He’s as advertised,” Collins said. “You all witnessed it.”
Matz (1-0) became the first player in franchise history — at any position — to have four RBIs in his first big league game. He is the only major league pitcher to knock in four runs in his debut, according to STATS.
He did it with a two-run double off Josh Smith (0-1) over the center fielder’s head in the second and a two-run single with the bases loaded in the sixth. In between those at-bats: Matz keyed a tiebreaking rally with another single, making him the first Mets pitcher to have hits in his first three at-bats.
By his turn in the fifth, fans had replaced the “Let’s go Mets!” chant with “Let’s go Matz!”
And with each successive hit, his family in attendance broke into delirious excitement — making his thrilled and animated grandfather an instant Internet sensation.
“Did it all today,” said Matz, who grew up a Mets fan about 50 miles from Citi Field and had more than 130 friends and family members in the stands.
The Mets had scored just 15 runs in 10 games coming in, their worst string since September 1979, according to STATS. They have won four straight following a seven-game slide.
Reds: Mike Leake faces Minnesota for the second time in his career Monday night. In 21 at-bats against the right-hander, the Twins have just one run and three hits — including a homer by Trevor Plouffe.
Mets: After an off day Monday, the Mets host the Cubs. Jonathon Niese has gone a career-high eight games without a win but he’s pitched well in his last four starts.
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)