- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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WHAT IT MEANS: How sweep it isn't.
The Mets (35-32) scored just five runs in their three-game series with the NL Central- leading Reds (38-27). So it came as no surprise that they lost all three games, including a 3-1 setback on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.
Cincinnati ace Johnny Cueto gave up just one run on six hits over seven innings to improve to 8-3 overall. Cueto walked one and struck out eight.
The Mets are 18-10 in day games, 19-15 at home. They were swept the Yankees, swept the Rays, then were swept by the Reds.
New York put the tying runs on base in the eighth inning, but pinch-hitter Scott Hairston grounded into a fielder's choice to end the threat. A squirrel delayed the start of the ninth while running on the field.
YOUNG AND HOPELESS: Chris Young pitched well. He just didn't get any run support.
And the fact that he gave up three runs on three two-out hits in the fifth inning didn't help.
Zack Cozart doubled, then Wilson Valdez plated him with an RBI single. Young intentionally walked Joey Votto, and Brandon Phillips followed with a base knock, scoring both Valdez and Votto as a result of Lucas Duda's throwing error. Duda was trying to gun down Votto at third, but his throw went into the Cincinnati dugout. Prior to the hit brigade, Young had retired eight in a row.
The right-hander's final line: 7 IP, 9 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K
The seven innings marks a season-high in three 2012 starts for Young (1-1).
Young picked up his 13th career RBI -- and first of the season -- with a two-out, five-pitch walk with the bases loaded in the second.
DAVID'S DIVE: David Wright helped Young escape a first-and-third, no-out jam in the third by diving to his left to snare Valdez's liner for the first out. Josh Thole also made a diving snag of his own on a fouled bunt attempt by Valdez in the seventh. Wright's batting average sits at .355 after a 1-for-4 afternoon at the plate.
GEM OF ALL GEMS: Brandon Phillips back-handed a grounder up the middle off the bat of Ike Davis and flipped the ball between his legs to start a 4-6-3 double play.
Speaking of Davis, the first baseman singled in the first and now has hit in eight straight games.
Another streak? Duda, who singled in the sixth, has reached base safely in a career-high 20 consecutive games.
MVP? Votto had three hits and upped his average to .366 and his on-base percentage to .489.
UP NEXT: The Mets open up a three-game series with the Orioles in Queens. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (10-1, 2.20 ERA) looks to add to his NL All-Star starter candidacy. Righty Jake Arrieta (3-8, 5.89) starts for Baltimore.