Neil Walker continued his torrid April by homering and finishing with two RBIs on Wednesday night as the Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Reds with a 5-2 win at Citi Field.
The defending National League champion Mets (13-7) started out 2-5 but have won 11 of 13 dating back to April 13, a stretch in which they have outscored the opposition 70-36. The three-game sweep was the second straight for the Mets, who took a trio from the Atlanta Braves last weekend.
"We're playing good baseball," Walker said. "Two sweeps in a row, we're doing pretty well. We're swinging the bats pretty well. Pitchers, they're throwing the ball well. We're closing out games. It's kind of what we thought (entering the season)."
The Reds, meanwhile, appear headed for the type of season most expected following a 98-loss campaign in 2015. Cincinnati (9-13) committed three errors Wednesday en route to its fourth loss in a row. The Reds have dropped 12 of 16 since a 5-1 start. They have been outscored 113-54 in the past 16 games.
"Sometimes, you've got to win that game 3-2, 3-1, 3-0," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "If you want to beat the better teams, you've got to be able to play their game. And (the Mets') game is they don't give up runs."
The Mets recovered from a sloppy start Wednesday to dispose of the Reds, who went ahead four pitches into the game when Zack Cozart homered off Matt Harvey.
Ivan De Jesus followed with a single and tried stealing second on a two-strike pitch to Joey Votto. De Jesus turned back toward first when Votto struck out but ended up safe at second when Mets first baseman Lucas Duda dropped a throw during the rundown.
Harvey recovered to strike out the next three batters, and the Mets took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning when Alejandro De Aza scored after Reds left fielder Scott Schebler dropped a two-out fly ball by Duda. Walker followed with an RBI single.
The Reds loaded the bases in the third via two singles and a one-out error by Walker before Harvey struck out Eugenio Suarez and retired Devin Mesoraco on a liner to Walker.
In the bottom of the inning, Walker tied a Mets record by hitting his ninth homer of the month, a one-out solo shot. He is the fourth Mets player -- after Dave Kingman (1976), Carlos Delgado (2006) and John Buck (2013) -- to hit nine homers in April.
Walker hit 16 homers in 151 games last season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. His career high is 23 homers, set in 2014.
"Sometimes you go through stretches that are good and you're seeing the ball well and you're getting hits or doubles or whatever the case may be," said Walker, whom the Mets acquired from the Pirates in December. "I'm seeing the ball well, I'm barreling balls up. But they're not singles, they're turning into balls in the seats."
The Reds strung together three singles, including an RBI hit by Suarez, in the fifth, before Harvey induced Mesoraco to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. The run cut Cincinnati's deficit to 3-2.
Michael Conforto's two-run double in the bottom of the sixth provided insurance for the Mets, whose four pitchers combined to retire the final 10 Reds in order. Addison Reed earned his first save by setting down Cincinnati on eight pitches in the ninth.
"We have a chance to be a good team, we really do," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Our pitching's pretty good. Our bullpen's pretty good. We've got some power."
Harvey, who opened the season by losing his first three starts, earned his second consecutive win by allowing two runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out seven. Harvey (2-3) has lowered his ERA from 5.71 to 4.76 in his past two outings.
"Probably didn't start the season the way he wanted," Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki said, "but I still think he threw the ball pretty well."
Cozart finished 2-for-4 and scored both runs for the Reds. Votto singled twice.
Reds right-hander Jon Moscot (0-2) gave up three runs (one earned), four hits and four walks while striking out two in five innings.
"It was a little hit and miss," Price said of Moscot's performance.
NOTES: Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes, who hit a dramatic first-pitch, game-tying three-run homer as a pinch hitter in the Mets' 4-3 win over the Reds on Tuesday, didn't play Wednesday as he recovers from a leg bruise. Cespedes is expected to return to the lineup for Friday's series opener against the San Francisco Giants. ... Mets RF Curtis Granderson, who played every inning of the first 19 games, didn't start Wednesday. He pinch-hit in the eighth inning and popped out. ... Reds 2B Brandon Phillips (left shin, left ring finger) missed a second straight game. He fouled two balls off his shin before being plunked in the left ring finger by Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard on Monday. ... Reds LHP John Lamb (back surgery) allowed two runs over eight innings in his third rehab start for Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday night.