CINCINNATI - The National League's top team opened the second half with a motto: Don't look back.
So far, it's working. No one is even close to the New York Mets.
Endy Chavez's tiebreaking double in the 10th inning sent the Mets to a 4-2 victory Thursday over the Cincinnati Reds, keeping the NL's best-positioned team on an upswing.
Cliff Floyd and Carlos Delgado hit solo homers off an otherwise tough Bronson Arroyo, helping the Mets take two of three in the series. New York has won six of its last eight overall, improving the league's best record to 57-38.
Since June 22, the Mets have enjoyed a double-digit lead in the NL East, providing a temptation to relax. There's no indication that they're going to do it.
“It's important to start any half this way,” said closer Billy Wagner, who pitched a perfect 10th to get his 19th save in 23 chances. “It pays dividends for a team. You continue to have a good feeling.
“I also think that with the lead we have, that you want to keep going out there and pushing. Today was one of those wins where we really overcame a lot.”
Cincinnati also has been on an upswing since the All-Star break, going 5-2 while rebuilding its bullpen through a pair of trades. One of the newcomers let this one get away.
Right-hander Gary Majewski (3-3), acquired in an eight-player deal with Washington a week earlier, gave up doubles to Xavier Nady and Chavez in the 10th, leaving him with a blown save and a loss in three appearances for the Reds.
“Majewski is going to be big for us,” manager Jerry Narron said. “It seems like every time out, something happens. He could have easily been out of that inning.”