Mets' Yoenis Cespedes delivers in a pinch with tying homer

NEW YORK -- This was a home run they'll remember. This was a Yoenis Cespedes moment the New York Mets will remember, a story they'll tell over and over. How about the night he wasn't even supposed to play, when he wasn't even in the dugout, when the game stopped to wait for him and then he walked out and immediately took it over?

How about that night? That night was Tuesday, when the Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 in a game they never should have won, in a game they only won because Yoenis Cespedes does things most others can't. He does them dramatically, just as he did Tuesday, when his three-run, pinch-hit home run tied the game in the seventh inning, allowing David Wright to drive in the eventual winner moments later.

"Flair for the dramatic," Wright said, after a moment that included plenty of drama and just a little intrigue, too.

The Reds were leading 3-0, behind a brilliant effort from young left-hander Brandon Finnegan. The Mets had two on with one out in the seventh, with the pitcher's spot coming up.

Reds manager Bryan Price went to the mound. Mets manager Terry Collins sent left-handed-hitting Lucas Duda to the on-deck circle, no doubt hoping to convince Price to leave the left-handed Finnegan in the game or go to a left-handed reliever.

All the while, Collins knew he wanted Cespedes, who hadn't played in three days because of a bruise on his upper right leg but was swinging a bat in the indoor cage. Price cooperated by staying with Finnegan, although he said later it was because he preferred Finnegan versus Cespedes to any of his struggling right-handed relievers versus Duda.

There was still a delay, as the Mets waited for Cespedes to get to the dugout.

"It took him a while," Collins said. "I kept hearing, 'He's coming, he's coming, he's coming.' He finally got there."

On first base, the Reds' Joey Votto asked Mets baserunner Kevin Plawecki what was going on.

"I'm as confused as you are," Plawecki responded.

One pitch later, there was no confusion. Cespedes sent a laser of a line drive over the left-field fence, and the game was tied.

"Why not, right?" an amazed Plawecki said later.

"That's pretty crazy," Wright said. "Misses games, throws his uniform on, takes a couple of swings and goes out and does that."

It was Cespedes' first career pinch-hit home run, but it's not as if he had many opportunities. It was only his 10th pinch-hit at-bat. When he's available to play, he's in the lineup, as he's expected to be when the Mets play the Reds on Wednesday night.

The Mets will be going for a sixth straight win overall and an 11th straight win over the Reds. The streaks are alive, because of another Yoenis Cespedes moment, one that could live on for quite a while.