Catcher Devin Mesoraco made the short walk between clubhouses shortly before the first pitch Tuesday night as New York dealt for help at its neediest position, and he watched the Mets lose to the Cincinnati Reds 7-2 with Eugenio Suarez driving in four runs.
The Mets traded former ace Matt Harvey to the Reds — he’ll join them in Los Angeles on Thursday for the start of a series against the Dodgers — and had Mesoraco on their bench for the first pitch. He pinch hit in the ninth and took a called third strike as the Mets lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Suarez had a bases-loaded single and an RBI double off left-hander Jason Vargas (0-3). He added another RBI single in the seventh, and Scooter Gennett had a two-run homer off Hansel Robles.
Luis Castillo (2-4) retired the first 14 Mets before Amed Rosario singled. Wilmer Flores hit a solo homer in the sixth — the ball bounced off the yellow padding atop the left field wall.
Amir Garrett walked Adrian Gonzalez with the bases loaded in the sixth, but fanned Brandon Nimmo to end the Mets’ best chance to pull even. New York was blanked three times while losing all six games on a homestand last week.
Vargas had another rough time as he works back from hand surgery, giving up four runs in four innings. Vargas broke the hamate bone in his right hand and had surgery to remove it on March 20. In three starts spanning 12 1/3 innings, he’s allowed 19 runs, 26 hits and five homers.
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RH Corey Oswalt was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas and LH P.J. Conlon was optioned a day after his major league debut. Oswalt pitched in one game for the Mets last month, allowing two runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Mets: 3B Todd Frazier went on the 10-day DL with a sore left hamstring to open a spot for Mesoraco. He was originally out of the lineup. … Robles left the game in the seventh after appearing to tweak his right leg when he ran to try to field a bunt.
Reds: RH Michael Lorenzen will pitch one inning in a game at the Reds’ spring training complex on Thursday. He’s been sidelined since March by a strained pitching shoulder.
Mets: Zack Wheeler (2-2) is coming off one of his worst outings. He tied his career high by allowing eight runs in six innings of an 8-7 loss to the Rockies last Friday.
Reds: Sal Romano (2-3) is 1-0 in two career starts against the Mets, allowing five runs and 14 hits in 11 innings with 11 strikeouts.