New York Mets rookie Steven Matz takes step forward despite no-decision

CINCINNATI -- Although he ended up with a no-decision, New York Mets rookie left-hander Steven Matz labeled Thursday’s outing his sharpest of four starts since returning from the disabled list.

Matz allowed three runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Cincinnati Reds. He surrendered a game-tying RBI single to Adam Duvall in the sixth, but the Mets responded with three runs a half-inning later en route to a 6-4 win at Great American Ball Park.

Matz’s streak of five straight starts allowing two runs or fewer to begin his career was snapped. Still, Matz remains unbeaten in his career at 4-0. He now has a 2.27 ERA.

Matz had missed two months with a strained lat muscle before returning on Sept. 6.

“This is definitely the best I’ve felt with commanding the zone and everything,” Matz said. “I felt really good. Today was the best fastball command I’ve had. And that’s really what I work off of. Everything else is getting there. My curveball is just a tick off, I think -- still a little up in the zone. But everything else, I feel like, is pretty on.”

Said manager Terry Collins: “His stuff was better tonight than it was his last couple of starts. The arm action on his curveball was much better, much faster. He threw some pretty good sliders. This is just me, but he’s got an outstanding changeup. I’d like to see it thrown a little bit more, because I think it’s a great pitch for him. But I thought he threw the ball very well tonight. It looks like he’s getting back in pretty good shape, to where he was when we first saw him. I thought this is the best stuff he’s had since he’s coming off the DL.”