Jeff McNeil of the Mets celebrates his fourth-inning home run against...

Jeff McNeil of the Mets celebrates his fourth-inning home run against the Reds at Citi Field on Tuesday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Mets have scored five runs or more in eight straight games, tying MLB’s longest such streak of the season. It should come as no surprise this coincides with offensive surges from Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil.

“[Confidence] is pretty high,” McNeil said of the offense. “We’re taking extremely good at-bats and everyone is swinging the bat well.”

Lindor, McNeil and recent addition Darin Ruf all drove in two runs as the Mets beat the Reds, 6-2, Tuesday night at Citi Field.

Lindor went first with a two-run homer in the third inning, his 20th of the season. He is the first Mets shortstop to hit 20 in more than one season. He also has scored a run in 12 straight games and reached base in 17 in a row.

McNeil, who was 2-for-4, went next with a solo home run off Mike Minor in the fourth inning and a run-scoring single in the sixth. The homer, his first off a lefty since 2019, extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Over than span he has batted .421 with nine extra-base hits and eight RBIs.

Ruf, acquired at the trading deadline in a deal with the Giants, capped the scoring with a two-run single in the seventh inning. Manager Buck Showalter kept the righthanded hitting Ruf in for that at-bat against righthander Joel Kuhnel instead of opting for lefty-swinging Daniel Vogelbach because “I liked Ruf in that situation,” he said.

Buck bullish on May

Trevor May’s rocky eighth inning might have given Mets fans palpitations, but Showalter came away from it feeling good about the righthander who recently returned from three months on the IL. May was summoned to protect a four-run lead and loaded the bases on a single and two walks. He struck out the potential tying run, pinch hitter Alejo Lopez, to escape the jam.

 

“It's good for him [because] . . . . there's a part of this getting back to hopefully being a guy that we can count on again,” Showalter said. “He's getting there little by little. I actually thought it was good that he got really pushed to the end there. You get those juices flowing and he got that out.”

HBPs just keep on coming

The Mets suffered three more hit-by-pitches on Monday and Tuesday, bringing the team’s total to 76. That puts them on pace to surpass the single-season record of 95 that the club set in 2019.

“And what's crazy about it: I can't count on one hand maybe the ones that I strongly suspect might have been intentional,” Showalter said.

Quick pitches

Showalter said righthander Tommy Hunter, out with back spasms since the weekend, is expected back off the IL when eligible on Aug. 21. . . . Infielder Dom Smith, on the IL with a right ankle sprain since mid-July, “is close to being available to deploy,” Showalter said.