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Reds-Mets series another happy reunion for Díaz family

New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz celebrates after striking out Atlanta Braves' Matt Olson during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

NEW YORK (AP) — Family reunion at Citi Field.

New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz and his brother, Cincinnati Reds rookie reliever Alexis Díaz, exchanged the lineup cards at home plate before Tuesday’s game between the teams.

With several family members watching and wearing split Mets/Reds shirts picturing both brothers for the second straight night, Edwin and Alexis shook hands with the umpiring crew before hugging one another.

With a 1.39 ERA, 26 saves and 91 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings — not to mention a popular entrance song — older brother Edwin, 28, is enjoying a dominant season. Alexis, 25, made the Reds out of spring training and is 3-1 with a 1.94 ERA and four saves in his first big league action.

“It’s unbelievable,” their father, Edwin, said during the second inning. “Kids started playing at 5 years old, 6 years old. Their dream came true.”

Dad said he got the idea for the split shirts from the mother of Kyle and Corey Seager, who produced similar split shirts when Kyle’s Seattle Mariners and Corey’s Los Angeles Dodgers played against each other when Edwin Díaz and Kyle Seager were teammates in 2018.

“I said, ‘One day, I’m going to be like that,'” the elder Díaz said. “When Alexis came to the big leagues, I said, ‘I’m going to have that shirt, too.'”

Following the exchange at home plate, the brothers posed for a photo with the umpires and hugged again. It was the second time this season the Díaz brothers exchanged lineup cards. They also did it before the series opener between the teams in Cincinnati on July 4.

“That’s a great moment for their family,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said Monday night. “Can you imagine how proud they are?”

Reds manager David Bell was particularly moved by the midseason Díaz family reunion. Bell is a third-generation big leaguer whose late brother, Mike, played with Cincinnati while David was with the Mariners in 2000.

“I think the best part of it is not playing against each other, it’s actually crossing paths in a busy major league schedule where you get lucky and your teams play each other and you get to spend time together,” Bell said. “On the field and everything is great, but away from the ballpark, that’s the best, because it’s your brother and you don’t get to see each other very often, especially when you’re major league baseball players.”