Nine of the 14 batted balls against Gray were hit on the ground, which further helped his cause. Gray’s ground-ball rate this year (47.8%) is down from his excellent career average (52.6%), but it’s starting to creep back up over his last five starts (54.2%).
Fresh off the injured list, Michael Lorenzen made his second appearance of the season and pitched a perfect seventh inning on just eight pitches. He got two weak groundouts (78.4 and 45.4 mph) on three pitches to start his night before striking out the final batter on a 98.1 mph four-seam fastball. Even in such an efficient outing, Lorenzen was able to feature five of the six pitches in his arsenal.
Mychal Givens got into a bit of trouble in the eighth inning, allowing a single and a four-pitch walk after striking out the first batter. But he buckled down and got McNeil to pop out and Pete Alonso to ground out, ending the threat.
Amir Garrett looked poised for a smooth ninth inning when he retired the first two hitters, blowing away Michael Conforto on three pitches for the second out. But Garrett then allowed a 109-mph single, a 108-mph RBI double, and a walk to give the Mets a run back. He was able to settle down, striking out James McCann to end the game.
The Reds and Mets are back at it tonight at 7:10 p.m. EST.