RHP Marcus Storman battled into his way into the fifth inning before he exited Sunday's game early, leaving the final four-plus frames in the hands of the bullpen and putting the Mets' series finale in jeopardy.
The four Mets relievers, however, collectively answered the call for Stroman and manager Mickey Callaway.
With insurance home runs on solo shots from OFs J.D. Davis and Brandon Nimmo, the Mets kept control of the lead established off the offense's four-run first inning and recorded the 6-3 win to secure the three-game set against the Reds (73-83).
"Just felt a little nauseous and dizzy," said Stroman (9-13, 3.23 ERA), whose no-decision marked his fifth since he was traded July 28 from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Mets. "Just started to kind of get my stomach and my head in order, but I felt great, to be honest with you, my stuff. It's just unfortunate that I walked those three guys in that one inning -- it's very uncharacteristic of me -- and just kind of frustrating."
Stroman, who scattered two runs on three hits with two strikeouts over 4.2 innings, referenced the bottom of the fifth inning.
He recorded the initial two outs on a pair of groundballs before his fatigue set in, allowing a two-out home run to 2B Kyle Farmer.
Stroman then walked Reds RHP Trevor Bauer, followed by free passes to CF Phillip Ervin and 1B Joey Votto, to load the bases with the heart of the order staring at a breakout inning.
"Yeah, he was just nauseous," Callaway said of Stroman. "So any time he had to cover first or had to move around pretty violently, he felt the effects of it. But man, he battled and did the best he could under pretty tough circumstances."
Callaway called on RHP Brad Bach, who embraced the tough situation and got the Mets out of trouble with 3B Eugenio Suarez's pop up to 2B Jeff McNeil and end the inning.
"Team did a good job," Stroman said. "Bach was huge coming in there, getting Suarez to pop up. Just completely up and down the lineup, thought we swung it pretty well against a tough pitcher -- Bauer's got pretty nasty stuff. But yeah, good team win."
The Mets did the initial damage against Bauer (11-13, 4.48 ERA), who surrendered five runs on six hits despite eight strikeouts to no walks.
After 1B Pete Alonso's leadoff strikeout to start the top of the sixth inning, Davis jumped all over Bauer's 0-0 fastball, poking the first pitch from the outside corner and giving the Mets breathing room behind the 5-2 lead.
Bach pitched with the lead, scattering two hits and striking out two over 1.1 unscathed innings -- including a scoreless sixth -- before Callaway passed the baton to RHP Edwin Diaz.
Despite Diaz's struggles, he turned in a solid outing, overcoming two walks with three strikouts and no hits over a scoreless seventh.
Outside of the eighth inning's leadoff home run on C Tucker Barnhart 's leadoff solo shot to trim the Reds' 5-3 deficit, the Mets got throught the final two frames with RHP Seth Lugo and LHP Justin Wilson.
The bullpen combined for one run on three hits in 4.1 innings, striking out six while walking three and getting the Mets out of the six-game road trip -- the team's last -- with the three-game series win.
"We're in a tough spot, but we're not going to give up," said OF Michael Conforto, whose three-run home run in the top of the first inning polished off the Mets' 4-0 lead after 2B Robinson Cano's RBI double put the offense on the board. "So we're going to play the rest of this season out and see where it takes us."
Behind the bullpen's momentum, the Mets (81-74) -- who are 4.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers (86-70) for the second NL Wild Card -- return home to Citi Field for the 2019 regular season's final seven games, starting Monday with the week's four-game series against the Miami Marlins (54-101).