CINCINNATI (AP) — The New York Mets wasted a stellar performance by Max Scherzer in his return from an oblique injury, losing 1-0 to the Cincinnati Reds on Mike Moustakas' game-ending sacrifice fly on Tuesday night.
Scherzer struck out 11 while pitching six innings of two-hit ball in his first big league start since May 18. He had been sidelined by a strained oblique muscle on his left side.
Throwing mostly fastballs, Scherzer — who turns 38 in three weeks — allowed only one runner to reach third. And he responded by striking out Matt Reynolds to get out of the second inning.
Reds rookie Nick Lodolo combined with four relievers on a six-hitter. Lodolo struck out eight in 4 2/3 innings in his return from a back injury.
Hunter Strickland (2-2) got three outs for the win against the NL East leaders.
Tommy Pham led off the Cincinnati ninth with a double into the right-field corner against Seth Lugo (1-2). Tyler Naquin was walked intentionally before Donovan Solano walked to load the bases.
Moustakas' deep fly ball to center drove in Pham with the game-winner.
The last-place Reds threatened in the eighth, putting runners on second and third with one out. But Tommy Hunter got Jonathan India to pop out and Brandon Drury to fly out to right.
Reds: RHP Tony Santillan (back) was transferred to the 60-day injured list. ... RF Tyler Naquin (strained quadriceps) was back in the lineup for the first time since May 31.
The Reds claimed right-hander Ian Gibaut off waivers from the Dodgers. They also optioned utilityman Max Schrock and catcher Mark Kolozsvary to Triple-A Louisville. Catcher Chris Okey was designated for assignment. ... To make room on the roster for Scherzer, the Mets designated lefty Chasen Shreve for assignment.
Right-hander Graham Ashcraft (4-2, 4.53 ERA) starts for the Reds against Mets lefty David Peterson (5-1, 3.24 ERA). Ashcraft was tagged for seven runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings in a 15-7 loss to the Cubs last week. Peterson is coming off the paternity list to start for New York.