Michael Conforto connected twice, including a solo shot that capped a five-run outburst in the 11th as the NL East leaders finally put this one away and handed Cincinnati its fourth straight loss to open the second half.
New York shook off a season-high four errors — all in the first two innings. Three were committed by shortstop Luis Guillorme, subbing for injured Francisco Lindor.
“No one flinched,” Pillar said “We didn’t play very good baseball early. We shot ourselves in the foot, but no one pointed fingers. We picked each other up. That’s what we’ve been doing all year. It was one of those crazy games that you kind of anticipate coming here.”
While manager Luis Rojas served the first game of his two-game suspension, McNeil, Home Run Derby champ Pete Alonso, Dominic Smith and pinch-hitter James McCann also homered for New York in a game that lasted 4 hours, 45 minutes.
“You don’t even realize it’s a five-hour game because of all the action going on,” McCann said.
The seven home runs allowed by the Reds matched a franchise record.
“It doesn’t feel great losing four coming out of the break,” said second baseman Jonathan India, who reached base six times. “We swung the bat well. That’s a positive. I don’t play the game for personal goals. I’m just trying to do what I can to win.”
McCann came off the bench in the eighth and twice give the Mets leads that were coughed up by the bullpen.
Tyler Naquin drove in four runs for Cincinnati with a career-high five hits, including a tying single in the 10th.
“It was cool for sure, my first five-hit game,” Naquin said. “Both teams were swinging the bat. They just came out on top.”
All-Star outfielder Jesse Winker gave Cincinnati an 8-7 lead with a two-run double in the seventh before handing closer Edwin Díaz his third straight blown save and fourth this season with a tying double in the ninth.
Anthony Banda (1-0) was the winner in his Mets debut after getting called up from the minors earlier in the day. Trevor May got two outs for his third save, and second in two days.
Edgar Garcia (0-1) took the loss.
Alonso, who won his second consecutive Home Run Derby on July 12 at Coors Field, gave the Mets a quick 2-0 lead with his first homer of the second half two batters into the game.
Guillorme’s error on a possible double-play ball opened the door for the Reds to grab a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the first. Naquin drove in two runs with a soft double down the left field line — the second straight day the Mets have given up multiple runs on a soft first-inning hit.
A trio of Pirates scored Sunday when New York pitcher Taijuan Walker knocked a barely fair ball into foul territory and nobody went to retrieve it. Rojas’ vehement argument earned an ejection and, from Major League Baseball on Monday, a two-game suspension and a fine.
Bench coach Dave Jauss served as acting manager.
Wild games are becoming a Mets habit. They blew a six-run lead to lose Saturday in Pittsburgh before overcoming a 6-0 first-inning deficit to win on Sunday.
Cincinnati added four unearned runs in a second inning that included three more New York errors, two by Guillorme on one play. That helped shorten starter Jerad Eickhoff’s night. Only two of the seven runs he permitted were earned.
Vladimir Gutierrez gave up three home runs for the second time in his last four starts before leaving after four innings.
Conforto has homered in three of his last five games after going a career-long 30 games without one. The outfielder had three hits, three RBIs and three runs scored, and appears to be breaking out of a lengthy slump after missing more than a month earlier this season with a hamstring injury. He hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the ninth inning of Sunday’s win at Pittsburgh before following it up with his big game Monday night, which included teaming with Pillar on back-to-back homers in the 11th.
Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (hamstring) is scheduled to make his next rehab start Tuesday with Triple-A Syracuse. … RHP Noah Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery) threw before the game, and the Mets hope he can rejoin the team at the start of September. … RHP Corey Oswalt was transferred to the 60-day injured list. Oswalt went on the 10-day IL on July 6 with right knee inflammation.
Reds: OF Nick Senzel (left knee inflammation, surgery) could go on a rehab assignment as early as next week, manager David Bell said. Senzel hasn’t played since May 17.
METS ROSTER MOVES
RHP Stephen Nogosek was called up from Syracuse. INF Travis Blankenhorn was optioned to Triple-A, and OF Johneshwy Fargas was designated for assignment.
Mets: RHP Robert Stock (0-2) will be recalled to start Tuesday against the Reds.
Reds: LHP Wade Miley (7-4) turned in 8 1/3 shutout innings July 9 at Milwaukee in his last first-half start.