April 11, 2014

Matt Harvey wasn't supposed to be a work in progress this season.

Fortunately for the New York Mets, their offense is starting to look like a finished product.

Harvey attempts to build on his first win of the season as the Mets try to slug their way to an 11th straight victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.

Harvey returned from Tommy John surgery last season, posting a 2.71 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 8.94 strikeouts per nine innings, but he hasn't been nearly as effective early in 2016.

The right-hander allowed two runs in Friday's 6-3 win at Atlanta, his fewest of the season, but needed 101 pitches to make it through five innings for his shortest outing.

"Still a work in progress," Harvey told MLB's official website. "Part of the game obviously felt better and felt like I was releasing the ball the way I should be. Other times it was not that way. Still working.

"There were more positives than negatives out of this game."

That's generally been the theme when Harvey (1-3, 5.24 ERA) faces the Reds, as he's gone 2-0 with a 2.36 ERA in four starts.

The Mets (12-7) have won 15 of their last 17 meetings with Cincinnati (9-12), including 10 straight to come one shy of their winning streak against Colorado for their longest active run against a single opponent. New York has outscored the Reds 60-25 despite compiling only five more hits during the streak.

The Mets have won 10 of their last 12 overall behind a .290 average and 27 homers after rallying for a 4-3 victory Tuesday. David Wright hit an RBI single in the seventh after Yoenis Cespedes' three-run, pinch-hit homer tied it earlier in the inning.

The Mets are getting accustomed to the long ball, connecting for 29 to tie their second-highest April total from 1994 and '88. They need four more over the next three games to match the franchise record set in April 2006.

Cespedes could be back in the lineup for the finale after missing three straight with a bruised right thigh and having his knee drained Monday. His six homers are a personal best for April, and he's hitting .300 with 17 RBIs in 16 games with at least one hit in 13.

Curtis Granderson is on a tear, going 12 for 29 with seven RBIs and eight runs over the last seven games after batting .143 through the first 12. He has an 11-game hitting streak against the Reds, during which he owns a .404 average with six homers and 15 RBIs.

Cincinnati has lost five of the last six games, scoring seven runs and batting .172 in those defeats.

Jon Moscot (0-1, 5.06) has been a step below mediocre in his first two starts, and although he only gave up three hits over five innings against the Cubs on Friday, he issues four walks that helped lead to four runs crossing.

"That's just not a good performance by me," Moscot said. "It's kind of unacceptable, actually. It's frustrating on my part and unacceptable. I've just got to move forward."

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