Series preview: Mets vs. Reds

June, 15, 2012
6/15/12
10:00
AM ET
Getty ImagesThe Mets face (l to r) right-handers Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (35-29, second place/NL East) vs. CINCINNATI REDS (35-27, first place/NL Central)

Friday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-4, 4.42) vs. RHP Bronson Arroyo (2-4, 3.79), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Jon Niese (4-2, 3.69) vs. RHP Homer Bailey (4-4, 4.35), 7:15 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Chris Young (1-0, 3.38) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (7-3, 2.46), 1:10 p.m. ET

Reds short hops

Scott Rolen is scheduled for a weekend rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville before being activated Monday. He has been on the DL since May 12 with a left shoulder strain. Rutgers product Todd Frazier has started 26 of 31 games at third base in Rolen's absence, with sporadic appearances otherwise by ex-Met Miguel Cairo. Frazier's seven homers already are the fourth-most by a Reds rookie third baseman, trailing only Grady Hatton (14, 1946), Chris Sabo (11, 1988) and Edwin Encarnacion (eight, 2005).

• Closer Aroldis Chapman (seven saves) allowed his first earned run since last Sept. 10 when he surrendered consecutive doubles to Pittsburgh's Clint Barmes and Michael McKenry last Thursday. The outing also snapped a club-record eight straight appearances of one-plus innings without allowing a hit, topping Danny Graves' previous franchise record (seven in 2001). The 24 appearances without an earned run allowed to open the season topped John Hudek's franchise record (18 games in 1998).

Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesJoey Votto is one point off the lead for the top batting average in the National League.


• Manager Dusty Baker turns 63 Friday.

Joey Votto's .362 average ranks second in the National League, one point behind San Francisco's Melky Cabrera and one point ahead of Philadelphia's Carlos Ruiz. David Wright is fourth at .358. Votto signed a 10-year extension on April 4 that locks him up through 2023.

Chris Heisey left Thursday afternoon's game in the fifth inning with a groin strain. Heisey had taken over in center field for Drew Stubbs. Stubbs has been sidelined since straining an oblique swinging on June 5, although he has remained on the active roster.

• Rookie catcher Devin Mesoraco, who shares duties with Ryan Hanigan, also was pulled from the series finale against the Indians with discomfort on his side, potentially related to dehydration.

• Second baseman Brandon Phillips signed a six-year, $72.5 million contract on April 10. He went 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs Thursday. Phillips has four straight multi-hit games and 20 RBIs in his past 17 appearances.

• Shortstop Zack Cozart returned to the lineup Thursday after missing two games with flu-like symptoms.

• The Reds are one of only three teams to use only five starting pitchers this season. The others: the Mariners and Marlins. It marks the longest streak for the Reds without using a sixth starter since 1992, when Keith Brown broke the streak in Game No. 80, after Cincinnati exclusively used Jose Rijo, Tom Browning, Tim Belcher, Greg Swindell and Chris Hammond before that.

• Ex-Red Barry Larkin will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 22.

Bronson Arroyo leads all NL pitchers in starts (213) and innings (1,362 1/3) since he joined the Reds in 2006. He has three complete games and five other eight-inning appearances in 12 starts against the Mets.

Last series results

Mets split 1-1 at Citi Field, May 16-17, 2012 (AP game recaps)

Reds 6, Mets 3: Todd Frazier had a big audience -- and a big night in front of it. The former Rutgers player homered twice in front of about three dozen friends and family members and Brandon Phillips hit a tying single off Jon Rauch in the eighth. Pinch hitter Jay Bruce drove in the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly one out after the Reds put together three straight hits off Rauch (3-2), ending with Phillips' single. Rauch retired Chris Heisey on a popup before left-hander Tim Byrdak came on to face the lefty-hitting Bruce. After that, D.J. Carrasco entered and gave up Frazier's second homer on his first pitch. Carrasco was designated for assignment after the game. More

Mets 9, Reds 4: David Wright lined his second double of the game, a tiebreaking drive in the eighth inning that raised his major league-leading average to .411, and the Mets scored nine unanswered runs to top the Reds. Ronny Cedeño’s three-run homer capped a five-run eighth against Logan Ondrusek (3-1), a burst that began with a neatly placed bunt single by backup catcher Rob Johnson with one out. Wright was up next and, after his shot down the left-field line was inches foul, sent a one-hopper off the wall in center for a 5-4 lead. Playing despite a cold that had him sniffling, he went 2-for-2, drew three walks, scored three runs and stole a base. More
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.288 7 37 57
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 14
RBID. Wright 50
RD. Murphy 57
OPSL. Duda .829
WB. Colon 8
ERAJ. Niese 3.13
SOZ. Wheeler 112