Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Daniel Murphy's tie-breaking, two-run double highlighted a four-run seventh inning, as the New York Mets escaped with 4-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a four-game series.
Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay both knocked in a run in the decisive frame as the Mets halted a two-game skid.
R.A. Dickey (5-8) turned in a strong outing, allowing just two runs on eight hits while fanning seven over 6 2/3 innings.
Cincinnati loaded the bases with two down in the bottom of the ninth, but Jason Isringhausen struck out Brandon Phillips to earn his third save of the season.
Mike Leake (8-6) surrendered two runs over 6 1/3 innings to suffer the loss.
"That's what I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to go out there and not give up runs," said Leake. "Our offense will come around. We've been slumping, but we'll be fine."
Phillips and Drew Stubbs, who delivered a walkoff home run in Sunday's 4-3 victory over the Braves, each had an RBI for the Reds.
Stubbs went down looking with men on second and third to end the fifth, but the Reds broke through an inning later, as Phillips ripped a double to right to score Miguel Cairo, who led off with a single.
Similarly, the Mets stranded two in the sixth before getting on the board in the seventh. They placed runners on the corners following back-to-back, one- out singles from Jose Reyes and Justin Turner, effectively chasing Leake.
Bill Bray entered and allowed an equalizing sac fly to Beltran before handing the ball to Logan Ondrusek. David Wright greeted Ondrusek with a single before Murphy and Bay hit consecutive doubles to make it a 4-1 game.
"Murphy goes up there in certain situations and he's gonna get a base hit," said Mets manager Terry Collins. "He's determined and he's gonna put good swings on it."
Paul Janish responded with a one-out double in the home half and Stubbs followed a Ryan Hanigan groundout with a single up the middle to plate Janish and drive Dickey from the game.
"Truthfully, with the knuckleball I had tonight, I should've done better," said Dickey. "I should've closed the seventh and pitched into the eighth."
Pedro Beato spelled Dickey and issued a four-pitch walk to Cairo before giving way to Tim Byrdak, who put down Bruce with three straight sliders.
The bottom of the ninth began in ominous fashion for the Mets.
Janish slapped a slow grounder up the first base line, which Murphy initially overran before falling backwards to make the stop. Seeing Murphy struggling to make the play, Isringhausen took off in a sprint to cover. Murphy stumbled as he attempted to get to his feet, then lunged, his glove hand meeting the bag and Isringhausen's arriving feet moments before Janish. The play ended with Isringhausen's back-flop onto the dirt.
Hanigan then hit a playable grounder to third, but Wright was unable to reel it in. Isringhausen got Stubbs swinging before a Cairo single and a Bruce walk loaded the bases.
The Mets are 29-25 on the road this season. They won a total of 32 road games in all of 2010...Reyes has scored at least one run in seven straight games. The Mets are 33-21 this season when Reyes scores a run...Bay has more RBI (74) against the Reds than any other major league team...Phillips has 498 career RBI...Dickey picked up his first win since June 28...Joey Votto didn't start for the Reds, but he flied out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning.
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