Nimmo, Lindor homer as first-place Mets beat Reds 7-4

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CINCINNATI – Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor homered, helping the New York Mets beat the lowly Cincinnati Reds 7-4 on Monday night.

Taijuan Walker (7-2) struck out nine in six innings as NL East-leading New York earned its second straight win after a stretch of four losses in five games. The Mets improved to 50-30, and ace right-hander Max Scherzer returns Tuesday night after being sidelined by a strained left oblique muscle.

“With Max coming back right at the halfway point, that’s a good sign,” Nimmo said. “I’d say given what’s happened in the first half of the season, we’d be pretty happy if you told us at the beginning of the year we’d be at 50 wins at this point. We’ve had a good first half.”

Nick Senzel and Brandon Drury homered for last-place Cincinnati, which lost for the fifth time in six games.

The Mets got some good swings against hard-throwing rookie Hunter Greene.

Nimmo hit a towering three-run drive in the second. The Mets are 39-9 this season when scoring first.

“I was able to capitalize on a couple of sliders that he left in the middle of the plate,” Nimmo said. “Glad I was able to help with the win tonight.”

In the third, Drury drove an 0-1 pitch from Walker deep to right for a tying three-run shot. The opposite-field homer was Drury’s career-best 17th. He was with the Mets last season, but only had 84 at-bats.

It was a rare mistake for Walker, who is making a case for a spot on the NL All-Star team.

“It was hot, so definitely tired,” Walker said. “The offense picked me up after I gave up the three-run home run. I was able to settle in. My splitter wasn’t very good today, but I was able to get my slider going.”

Lindor put the Mets ahead with his 14th homer, a solo drive on a 99-mph pitch from Greene in the fifth. It was the major league-leading 22nd homer allowed by Greene (3-10) this season.

“We were trying to go outside on Lindor and it leaked back to the middle and he got it,” Greene said. “On the previous home run, I threw it right into his bat path. It was a poor slider.”

Dominic Smith‘s two-run double off Reiver Sanmartin in the sixth handed the Mets a three-run cushion.

“It’s one thing to have Dom back, it’s another thing to have him be productive,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said.

Walker was charged with three runs and four hits. Seth Lugo pitched the ninth for his third save.

HOT

The game-time temperature was 91 degrees.

MOVING UP

It was win No. 1,601 for Showalter. He is one victory shy of Fred Clarke for 21st on the career list. Showalter ranks fourth among active managers.

TRAINERS ROOM

Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (stress reaction in right scapula) is slated to make his second minor league rehab start on Friday. He is not expected to return to the Mets’ rotation until after the All-Star break. … LHP David Peterson is expected to come off the paternity list to start Wednesday’s series finale in Cincinnati.

Reds: RHP Art Warren was placed on the IL with a right flexor pronator strain. C Mark Kolozsvary was recalled. … C Tyler Stephenson began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville and caught five innings while going 1 for 2 at the plate. Stephenson broke his right thumb June 9 on a foul tip.

UP NEXT

Scherzer (5-1, 2.54 ERA) makes his first start for the Mets since leaving his outing on May 18 against St. Louis. Scherzer’s 1.84 ERA against the Reds is tied for the ninth-lowest mark among all pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched against an opponent. Reds rookie LHP Nick Lodolo (1-2, 5.52 ERA) starts for the first time since suffering a lower back strain in April.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.