Rick Reed pitched a three-hitter, struck out a career-high 12 and hit a two-run single yesterday as the host New York Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-0, to tie Cincinnati for the NL wild-card lead.

Mike Piazza hit his 40th homer for the Mets, who have won two straight following a 1-8 stretch to even the wild-card race with one game left.

The Reds lost, 10-6, to Milwaukee yesterday. Both the Mets and Reds are one game behind Houston after the Astros topped Los Angeles, 3-0.

"We were a group of guys that fell off a boat," Mets Manager Bobby Valentine said. "We're swimming ashore. We're not going to drown 10 feet from the shore. We can see the shore now."

If the Mets win today, they have at least one more game left. With a loss by either Houston or Cincinnati, their next game will be in Arizona on Tuesday night as the first game of a best-of-five division series. If all three teams win, or Cincinnati and New York both lose, the Mets and Reds will meet in a one-game playoff Monday in Cincinnati.

ASTROS 3, DODGERS 0: Jose Lima won his 21st game and Craig Biggio homered in the sixth inning to break a scoreless tie as host Houston took a one-game lead in the NL Central. The Astros can clinch their third straight division title with a win today.

EXPOS 13, PHILLIES 3: Vladimir Guerrero hit a pair of three-run homers and his brother, Wilton, hit his first career grand slam to power visiting Montreal.

GIANTS 16, ROCKIES 7: In Denver, Armando Rios hit two homers and Marvin Benard had a career-high five hits to lead San Francisco.

DIAMONDBACKS 7, PADRES 5: In Phoenix, Matt Williams hit a bases-loaded double to cap a six-run seventh inning that rallied Arizona.

MARLINS 1, BRAVES 0: In Atlanta, Cliff Floyd homered in the 10th to lift Florida.