CINCINNATI (AP) -Ten straight wins and a share of first place. The
New York Mets
don't look like a $138 million disappointment anymore.
Right now, they're golden.
's two-run homer in the ninth inning sparked New York's biggest comeback of the season Thursday night, a 10-8 victory over
that extended Mets' winning streak to 10 games and brought them a share of first place in the NL East.
Playing on the one-month anniversary of manager
's firing, the Mets blew three leads before coming full-circle with four runs in the ninth.
''We've been taking such a beating all year long for how we play the game and what we've done wrong and what little we've
done right,'' closer
said. ''I love seeing guys who told us two weeks ago how bad we stunk, and now they're going, 'Well, you're in first place.'
They were 6 1/2 games out when they changed managers, fearful that they were playing themselves out of contention with an
underachieving offense. Their 10th straight win completed the turnaround - they're tied for first with Philadelphia, back
in the top spot for the first time since April 19.
That once-balky offense made it possible.
Down to their last two outs, the Mets rallied against
(4-2), who blew a save for the fifth time in 24 chances, getting six straight hits against the closer.
singled, and Wright - an All-Star designated hitter at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night - hit a tying homer to right field
that barely eluded the glove of leaping Ken Griffey Jr.
That was the spark they needed.
''My slider maybe wasn't good enough,'' Cordero said. ''It was one of those nights. Whatever I threw to home plate was going
to get hit.''
had a tiebreaking single off Cordero, smacking his hands and pumping his firsts as he rounded first base.
doubled home another run to complete the comeback.
Those three accounted for all the Mets' runs. Delgado and Tatis had two-run homers off Red starter
, and Wright had a two-run single.
It was the first time this season the Mets overcame a three-run deficit and won. It was also the first time they rallied for
two runs in the ninth to pull one out.
''Winning nine in a row helps,'' Wright said of the comeback. ''The biggest thing is you win nine in a row and you get that
confidence, that ideal that you're never out of a game. That's what happened today.''
It appeared that the streak - now matching Minnesota for the longest in the majors this season - was about to end when
hit a bases-loaded double in the seventh for an 8-6 lead. Pitching has been the foundation for the Mets' winning streak -
four shutouts in the six previous games - but
and the bullpen repeatedly failed in this one.
''It was one of those days where whatever you do doesn't go the way you want,'' Santana said.
The Reds scored five runs off Santana in the fourth, piling up a single, a double, a two-run triple by
and solo homers by
. It was Dunn's 27th homer and sixth in the last eight games.
It wasn't nearly enough against the majors' hottest team.
''That hurts big-time,'' Reds manager
said. ''We played so hard, but we made some mistakes.''
(4-1) escaped a scoring threat in the eighth. Wagner pitched a perfect ninth for his 23rd save in 29 chances, wiping away
the bad taste of his latest All-Star appearance. The left-hander gave up an RBI double in the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium
on Tuesday night, helping the American League rally for a win that gives it home-field advantage once again in the World Series.
So, the streak goes on, now one shy of the club record. The Mets have won 11 straight four times, most recently in June 1990.
''Momentum is one of those strange things,'' Mets manager
said. ''You can't identify it until it's over. I guess we still have it.''
Notes: Delgado's homer was his 449th, tying
for 33rd on the career list. ... The last time the Mets won 10 straight was in July 1991. ... Mets RHP
will miss his scheduled start Sunday against the Reds. He got an injection Thursday to help his groin strain heal. He could
start Tuesday against Philadelphia. ... RHP
will start in Martinez's place Sunday. Pelfrey hasn't allowed a run in his last 16 innings. ... The Reds put INF Jerry Hairston
Jr. on the 15-day DL with a pulled hamstring and activated INF
off the DL. Cabrera dislocated his left index finger sliding into a base on June 21. ... Encarnacion had three hits and extended
his hitting streak to five games. He's 11-for-19 during the streak.