Two teamed up to prevent a run, a third drove in his second in two games, and right-hander Vic Black capped it off with his first career save.
Center fielder Juan Lagares set a team rookie record for outfield assists in a season when his throw to first-year catcher Travis d'Arnaud cut down Shin-Soo Choo at the plate trying to score from second base on Ryan Ludwick’s single in the bottom of the first inning. The assist was Lagares' 13th, one more than the 12 racked up by Tsuyoshi Shinjo in 2001.
Shortstop Wilfredo Tovar, who drove in a run in his major league debut Sunday in Philadelphia, made it two in two games, sparking New York’s four-run second inning with a line-drive RBI single to center field that gave the Mets a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning, Murphy blasted a 392-foot, three-run homer into the right-field seats, giving him a career-high 13 this season. He hit 12 in 2009.
Murphy extended his hitting streak to six games while helping the Mets pick up their first win in five games against the Reds this season.
Niese job: Jonathon Niese gave up singles to the first two batters he faced, but escaped with Lagares' help and ended up lasting seven innings. One of the two runs he allowed was set up when Lagares misjudged Choo's screaming liner in the fifth, turning it into a leadoff triple. Niese (8-8) ended up throwing 113 pitches, four short of his season high.
Choo ended up scoring on Joey Votto's double-play grounder, the first of eight consecutive batters set down by Niese before he was finished.
What’s next: The Mets can clinch a winning road record in Wednesday's 12:35 p.m. series finale. Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his first career appearance against the Reds, but he’s seen way too much of Choo, who’s hit two home runs against the former Red Sox hurler.