CINCINNATI – No champagne. No curtain call in front of joyous fans. No celebrating at all, really. The Cincinnati Reds clinched a playoff spot with hardly any notice.
If anything, they were a little bummed out.
Shin-Soo Choo drove in the winning run with a single off the wall in the 10th inning, and the Cincinnati Reds secured a playoff spot Monday night after beating the New York Mets 3-2.
We’re excited, obviously, shortstop Zack Cozart said, looking over a clubhouse where the only visible celebration was the image of Pittsburgh Pirates spraying each other on television. That’s not our goal. We’re in the division hunt. We’re not happy with a wild card.
Second-place Cincinnati clinched at least an NL wild card when Washington lost to first-place St. Louis 4-3 moments after the Reds’ game ended. Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said there would be no celebration of a wild-card clinching, not with a second straight NL Central title still in play.
David Aardsma pitched out of a bases-loaded threat in the ninth, retiring Todd Frazier on a fly out. Greg Burke (0-3) gave up a one-out single by Devin Mesoraco in the 10th, and Derrick Robinson singled him to third. Choo followed with a hit of the game off left-hander Sean Henn, a drive off the wall in left-center.
Manny Parra (2-3) gave up one hit in the 10th.
It was a notable win for the Reds – their 90th of the season, the third time in the last four years that they’ve reached the mark under Baker. They hadn’t had so many 90-win seasons since the Big Red Machine of the 1970s.
Johnny Cueto made a second solid start since coming off the disabled list, an encouraging sign for Cincinnati’s postseason plans. The right-hander has been sidelined three times by soreness near his shoulder.
He gave up two runs – one earned – on Lucas Duda’s sacrifice fly and his solo homer, which snapped an 0-for-17 slump. In two starts, Cueto has given up eight hits and one earned run in 12 innings.
The Reds got two runs in six innings off Aaron Harang, who made his third start for the Mets. Choo singled home a run in the second and Joey Votto got one of his career-high five walks with the bases loaded.
Harang is 3-0 in four career starts against the Reds, including a 4-2 victory with Seattle on July 5 at Great American Ball Park. The Mariners later released him with a 5-11 record.