Thursday, July 28, 2011
Once again, Carlos Beltran's bat was not missed in the middle of the New York lineup.
On the day Beltran officially left the Mets in a trade with the San Francisco Giants, Lucas Duda and Jason Bay each hit three-run doubles in a 10-9 victory over the Cincinnati Reds to complete a four-game sweep at Great American Ball Park.
The Mets banged out 11 hits, six for extra bases, in Wednesday's 8-2 win when the Beltran deal was first announced, and on Thursday were even more potent with 14 hits, although 11 were singles.
Bay finished 3-for-4 and Duda was 2-for-4, while David Wright and Angel Pagan each had three hits for New York, which built a 9-3 cushion after five innings and had to withstand a huge Cincinnati comeback.
The offense made a winner of Chris Capuano (9-10) for the first time since July 4. He had lost three straight starts and didn't pitch particularly well on Thursday, allowing six runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey (5-5) entered the contest with wins in his first two starts following the All-Star break. He had surrendered just three runs in 13 1/3 innings of those two outings, but on Thursday was roughed up for nine runs on 12 hits in four-plus innings.
Miguel Cairo belted a pinch-hit, three-run homer for the Reds, who had won three of four before the Mets reached town. Joey Votto doubled in a run and clubbed a solo homer, as 10 of Cincinnati's 13 hits went for extra bases.
"It's tough to get swept four games in your own park," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "They were hitting the ball a ton over there. They didn't miss any balls. They were hitting line drives."
New York erased a 2-1 deficit with four in the fourth. Daniel Murphy led off with a walk, Wright singled and Pagan reached on a bunt base hit to load the bases. After Bay struck out, Duda doubled into the right field corner to clear the bases and scored on a single to center by Josh Thole for a 5-2 edge.
The Reds got one back in the bottom of the inning when Todd Frazier doubled with two outs and raced home on a base hit by Bailey, but the pitcher couldn't get an out in the fifth when he went back out the mound.
Justin Turner led off with a base hit and Murphy drew a walk before another single by Wright loaded the bases. Pagan then knocked in one with a base hit and Bay followed with a double to chase home all three runners for a 9-3 cushion, ending Bailey's disastrous day.
"It was a matter of not making pitches," said Bailey. "Bottom line is I didn't get the job done today. Our offense scored enough runs."
The Reds began to rally with four in the sixth. Bruce singled with one out and scored on a double by Ramon Hernandez. After Todd Frazier walked, Cairo greeted Manny Acosta with a blast into the left field seats to make it 9-7.
Bruce doubled home Chris Heisey with one out in the seventh against Pedro Beato, but he was stranded there as Hernandez flied out and Frazier grounded to short.
The Reds went quietly in the eighth against Bobby Parnell and the Mets tacked on a run in the ninth thanks to a wild pitch by Logan Ondrusek with the bases loaded.
That extra run proved to be critical when Votto drilled Jason Isringhausen's first pitch in the bottom of the ninth over the center field wall for his 16th homer of the season and third in as many games. Isringhausen set down the next three batters for his fourth save.
The Mets opened the scoring in the first when Murphy singled with two outs, stole second and scored on a base hit to right field by Wright. Cincinnati answered with two in the home half on consecutive RBI doubles by Votto and Brandon Phillips.
Cincinnati, which had eight doubles and two homers, last had 10 extra-base hits in a July 22, 2005 game against Milwaukee and last had as many as eight doubles on August 26, 2001...New York improved to 32-25 on the road this season and matched its road victory total for 2010...It was also New York's first-ever four-game sweep in Cincinnati. The Mets last swept a four-game series against Cincinnati from July 18-21, 1997 at Shea Stadium...The Reds were swept in a four-game set at home for the first time since August 7-10, 2008 against Houston...New York earned the sweep despite a subpar performance from star shortstop Jose Reyes, who was 3-for-19 in the four games...Capuano improved to 3-0 in seven appearances, including six starts, lifetime at Great American Ball Park...The Mets received pitching prospect Zack Wheeler from San Francisco in exchange for Beltran and recalled catcher Mike Nickeas from Triple-A Buffalo to fill Beltran's roster spot.
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