CINCINNATI (AP) Justin Verlander pitched seven innings of two-hit ball for his first victory with the Mets, and Pete Alonso hit his major league-leading 13th home run as New York squeezed out a 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.
Brandon Nimmo had three hits, including a go-ahead single in the fourth to help the Mets win for just the fourth time in 16 games.
Cincinnati had been the only MLB team Verlander had never beaten. The three-time Cy Young Award winner became the 21st pitcher in big league history with at least one win against all 30 current clubs. He joined Gerrit Cole, Zack Greinke and teammate Max Scherzer as the only active pitchers to do it.
“Any time you do something that not many people have done in this game is pretty cool," Verlander said.
Verlander (1-1), who signed a two-year deal worth almost $87 million during the offseason, retired 18 of the last 19 batters he faced in his second start for New York after returning from a muscle strain in his upper back. He struck out seven and walked two as the Mets (18-19) snapped a three-game skid. They had lost six of seven overall.
Mets manager Buck Showalter thought Verlander got stronger later in the game after giving up a run in the first.
“Yeah, I think so," Showalter said. “Like most of those guys, you see him in the first inning, you better get them. But then he smelled it. The last couple of innings, you could tell he was smelling it.”
Adam Ottavino pitched a perfect eighth before David Robertson struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save in seven opportunities.
Reds right-hander Hunter Greene (0-3), in his fourth start since signing a $53 million, six-year contract on April 17, stranded six runners in six innings. He allowed two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and a season-high four walks. He also hit a batter with a pitch.
“I did a good job of getting ahead of hitters, but I couldn’t put them away," Greene said. “I felt I was able to keep the game under control. I got a lot of good swings and misses, but there were times when I was hit. It was not my best game with stuff, but I’m proud that I kept the game under control.”
All three of Greene's losses have come in his last four games, but he has a 3.09 ERA during that stretch.
Alonso drove Greene’s first pitch of the second inning into left field for his second solo homer in two nights.
The Mets took a 2-1 lead in the fourth with a two-out rally sparked by the bottom of the order. Luis Guillorme doubled to right, Francisco Álvarez walked and Nimmo delivered an RBI single.
The Reds (15-21) grabbed a first-inning lead on Jonathan India’s leadoff single and Jake Fraley’s two-out double into the right-field corner. That was their final hit of the night.
“Verlander got out of the first," Reds manager David Bell said. "That was our opportunity right there to turn it into a big inning. To his credit, he settled in after that. He was outstanding.”
The Mets have been outscored 30-9 in the first inning this season.
UNDER THE RADAR
Guillorme went 2 for 3 with a walk to raise his career batting average against Cincinnati to .375 (12 for 32).
Mets: C Tomás Nido was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sunday, with dry eye syndrome. C Michael Pérez was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse, and RHP Elieser Hernández (right shoulder strain) was transferred to the 60-day IL. … LHP Brooks Raley (left elbow inflammation) was sent on a rehab assignment to the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
LHP Nick Lodolo’s scheduled start Thursday for Cincinnati was pushed back to Saturday. RHP Derek Law (2-4, 3.00 ERA) will be the opener for the Reds in his first major league start since 2019 with Toronto. RHP Kodai Senga (4-1) goes for the Mets.
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