New York Mets: Todd Frazier

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Reds 3

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4
10:12
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Lucas Duda, in his first game since Terry Collins announced plans to give him an “extended look” at first base, spoke loudly with his bat.

Duda slugged a pair of two-run homers against Mike Leake and the Mets notched their first win of the season, holding on for a 4-3 victory against the Cincinnati Reds on a rainy Friday night at Citi Field.

Jose Valverde, filling in for injured Bobby Parnell, recorded his first save as a Met and the 287th of his career -- two shy of matching Armando Benitez for 26th all time. Valverde allowed two baserunners but escaped for his first save since June 11, 2013 with Detroit.


Elsa/Getty ImagesLucas Duda rounds the bases after his second two-run homer Friday.


Only two of Duda’s 15 homers last season came with men on base.

Duda finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs and a walk. It marked his fifth career multihomer game. He also scooped two bounced throws from David Wright at first base.

Oh, Jenrry! Jenrry Mejia struck out a career-high eight batters while limiting Cincinnati to one run on four hits and five walks in six innings. He threw 101 pitches, his most since also reaching that total in Triple-A on April 13, 2011.

Mejia did receive a first-inning bailout from left fielder Eric Young Jr., who jumped Endy Chavez-style at the wall to take away a would-be first-inning homer from Brandon Phillips.

For the second straight game, Mejia was drilled with a comebacker. In Phillips’ next at-bat, he smoked a grounder off Mejia’s right ankle in the third. In Montreal last Friday, Mejia had been struck in the right forearm by a line drive, which resulted in inflammation and the need for X-rays, but no fracture.

Oh, pen: The maligned bullpen inherited a 4-1 lead from Mejia with three innings to play and immediately started giving it back.

John Lannan surrendered a two-out, two-run homer to Jay Bruce in the seventh as Cincinnati pulled within a run.

However, Kyle Farnsworth subsequently recorded four outs, topping out at 94 mph, to get the ball to Valverde.

The bullpen has now allowed 14 runs (13 earned) in 12 1/3 innings -- good for a 9.49 ERA.

Murphy’s flaw: Daniel Murphy committed his third error in two games since returning from paternity leave. Murphy could not handle Todd Frazier’s would-be double-play grounder in the sixth, instead resulting in two runners on base and none out with the Mets clinging to a 2-1 lead. Mejia bailed out Murphy, ultimately stranding runners on the corners by striking out Leake.

Silent nights: Travis d’Arnaud and E.Y. Jr. each went 0-for-3. Each is now hitless in 12 at-bats this season.

Met his match: Speedster Billy Hamilton has been caught stealing only twice in his big-league career. Both times have been by the Mets.

Juan Centeno did the honors last season. Friday night, it was Anthony Recker, after Hamilton entered as a pinch-runner with one out in the eighth and the Mets leading by a run.

What’s next: Opening Day starters Dillon Gee (0-0, 5.40 ERA) and Johnny Cueto (0-1, 1.29) face off at 1:10 p.m. Saturday at Citi Field.

Series preview: Mets vs. Reds

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4
8:45
AM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto and Alfredo Simon this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (0-3, fifth place/NL East) vs. CINCINNATI REDS (1-2, third place/NL Central)

Friday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Mike Leake (0-0, -.--), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (0-0, 5.40) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (0-1, 1.29), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jonathon Niese (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Alfredo Simon (0-0, -.--), 1:10 p.m. ET

Reds short hops

• Cincinnati opened the season with an MLB-high eight players on the disabled list. The most gruesome injury occurred to flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman, who was struck by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City’s Salvador Perez on March 19. Chapman suffered eye and nose fractures and also a mild concussion. He had a plate and screws inserted to stabilize the bones near his left eye.


Mark Sheldon/Associated PressAroldis Chapman is taken off the field after being struck by a March 19 line drive.


Also opening the season on the DL: right-handers Mat Latos (Oct. 11 elbow surgery and Feb. 14 knee surgery), Jonathan Broxton (Aug. 23 forearm surgery) and Brett Marshall (finger tendon), left-hander Sean Marshall (shoulder), catcher Devin Mesoraco (oblique), infielder Jack Hannahan (shoulder) and free-agent infielder/outfielder signee Skip Schumaker (shoulder).

Alfredo Simon, who has 19 career saves, steps into the rotation as the fifth starter until Latos returns. Latos tossed four innings for Double-A Pensacola in a rehab start Thursday.

• Bryan Price, 51, is the first-year manager of the Reds. He served the previous four seasons as the team’s pitching coach under Dusty Baker.

J.J. Hoover may take the lead in a closer-by-committee scenario until Broxton and then Chapman returns. Broxton may be back within a week. Hoover’s co-closers for now include Logan Ondrusek, Manny Parra and Sam LeCure. Hoover had 23 straight scoreless appearances last summer, a franchise record for a right-hander.

Mike Leake, still 26 year old, already has made five Opening Day rosters with the Reds. His 57 hits are the most by any MLB pitcher since his 2010 debut.

• Cincinnati opened its season by failing to score in its first 17 innings, until Chris Heisey’s walk-off single against St. Louis’ Carlos Martinez won Game 2 of the season, 1-0. Heisey had six spring-training homers, tied for the MLB lead.

• Speedster Billy Hamilton is hitless in 12 at-bats with six strikeouts to open the season. Four of the Ks came on Opening Day. He has been caught stealing only once in his big-league career -- by the Mets’ Juan Centeno last season. Hamilton is handling center field (and playing shallow to take advantage of his speed) with Shin-Soo Choo’s defection to the Texas Rangers on a seven-year, $130 million deal.

• First baseman Joey Votto, the 2010 NL MVP, notched his 1,000th career hit Wednesday.

• Toms River/Rutgers product Todd Frazier had his fourth career multihomer game Thursday.

Johnny Cueto, who made his third straight Opening Day start, was a tough-luck loser against St. Louis. He surrendered a solo homer to Yadier Molina while allowing only two other hits and a walk in seven innings in the Reds’ 1-0 loss to Adam Wainwright. Cueto made only 11 starts last season because of three disabled-list trips.

• Cincinnati experienced a combined 6 hours, 22 minutes of rain delays on Wednesday and Thursday.

• Left fielder Ryan Ludwick had a better Opening Day this season than a year ago, even though he went 0-for-4. In the 2013 opener, Ludwick tore the labrum in his right shoulder on a headfirst slide into third base. He required surgery and did not return until Aug. 12.

• Catcher Brayan Pena, who played with the Detroit Tigers in 2013, signed a two-year, $2.275 million contract in November. Incumbent catcher Ryan Hanigan was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in December.

• Right-hander Homer Bailey signed a six-year, $105 million extension with the Reds on Feb. 19. He went 11-12 with a 3.49 ERA in 32 starts last season and would have been eligible for free agency next winter.

Series preview: Mets vs. Reds

May, 19, 2013
5/19/13
10:56
PM ET

Getty Images
The Mets face (l to r) Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Mat Latos during a three-game series at Citi Field.
METS (17-24, fourth place/NL East) vs. CINCINNATI REDS (26-18, second place/NL Central)

Monday: RHP Shaun Marcum (0-4, 6.75) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (1-0, 2.60), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-4, 5.40) vs. RHP Mike Leake (3-2, 3.72), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Matt Harvey (5-0, 1.55) vs. RHP Mat Latos (4-0, 2.91), 1:10 p.m. ET

Reds short hops

• Right-hander Johnny Cueto will make his first start since April 13, after which he landed on the disabled list with a strained right lat muscle. He also experienced an oblique issued while on the DL. Cueto tossed 58 pitches over five scoreless innings for Double-A Dayton on Tuesday, then threw an additional 23 pitches in the bullpen. Rookie Tony Cingrani (2-0, 3.27 ERA in six starts) was dispatched to Triple-A Louisville.

• Catcher Ryan Hanigan was hitting .079 with no extra-base hits through 12 starts in April before landing on the disabled list with a sore right thumb and strained left oblique that diminished his production. Since returning May 10, Hanigan has hit .300 (6-for-20) with a homer, three RBIs and three walks in seven games (six starts). His homer Saturday was his first long ball since July 6, 2012.


Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Former NL MVP Joey Votto's home run stroke has returned.


• First baseman Joey Votto reached base in eight straight plate appearances before the streak ended Sunday. He has an eight-game hitting streak during which he is hitting .515. Votto has 12 multi-hit games in his past 19.

Votto, who went homerless in 30 games between the regular season and postseason last year after returning Sept. 5 from knee surgery, has rediscovered his power after a slow April. He has six homers, including long balls Friday and Saturday at Philly. He reached base a career-high six times Saturday.

Votto (.473) and teammate Shin-Soo Choo (.456) rank first and second in the majors in on-base percentage.

• Choo, a 30-year-old South Korea native represented by Scott Boras, plays center field and bats leadoff with the Reds after previously playing right field with the Cleveland Indians. He is a free agent after the season and likely will draw interest from the Mets. Choo was acquired by Cincinnati on Dec. 11 in a three-team deal. The Reds are only responsible for $3.5 million of his $7.375 million salary this season.

• Three-time Gold Glove winner Brandon Phillips ranks second in the NL with 36 RBIs, one behind leader Troy Tulowitzki. The cleanup hitter benefits from Choo and Votto hitting ahead of him. Phillips has 220 doubles with Cincinnati, tied with Joe Morgan for the franchise record by a second baseman.

• Third baseman Todd Frazier, a Rutgers prospect from Toms River, N.J., snapped a career-high 0-for-19 skid Saturday. He then went 2-for-4 Sunday at Philly. Frazier has pronounced home-road splits: He is hitting .293 with six homers and 19 RBIs in Cincy and .164 with no homers and eight RBIs on the road.

• The Reds on Sunday suffered only their second loss in 18 starts by left fielder Xavier Paul.

• Outfielder Donald Lutz is regarded as the first German player in MLB. While children of American servicemen have been born in Germany and reached MLB, Lutz actually was born in the U.S. but moved with his German mother back to her native country at eight months old after his parents divorced.

• Flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman has suffered consecutive blown saves after converting his first eight opportunities of the season. The second setback came Sunday, when Freddy Galvis and Erik Kratz homered against Chapman for a 3-2 walk-off win by the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

• Right fielder Jay Bruce has a 10-game hitting streak, during which he has produced a .390 average (16-for-41) with four homers and 12 RBIs. Bruce had 40 strikeouts and one homer in 115 April at-bats. During the height of his struggles, Bruce had a Twitter rant during which he wrote to critical fans (via blogredmachine.com):

I appreciate all the tweets, good and bad, actually. You guys are what drive the game. I’m obviously not hitting as well as I’d like to, yet….I actually feel sorry for the people on here who feel that it’s necessary to try and put me down on twitter. It really just explains…Further who you are, and there are obviously things in your life that you’re unhappy about and you take it out on me via twitter…I suggest you look into talking with a life coach or something to help you get over whatever you have going on in your life. There is obviously a….lack of something going on, and I hope you guys get it straightened out, because you all sound like idiots Everyone have a good night. Haha.

• Shortstop Zack Cozart was scratched Sunday after becoming sick.

• Left fielder Chris Heisey has been on the DL since April 29 with a strained right hamstring. He tweaked the muscle in a rehab game last Monday.

Mat Latos nearly was 5-0 heading into a Wednesday matchup with 5-0 Matt Harvey. In Latos’ last start, he gave up a ninth-inning triple at Miami and departed with a 2-1 lead. Then Chapman gave up a game-tying triple. Cincinnati won in extra innings.

Mets morning briefing 8.16.12

August, 16, 2012
8/16/12
5:58
AM ET

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Mike Leake pitched a complete game against the Mets on Wednesday.


A bracelet-deprived R.A. Dickey surrendered consecutive fourth-inning homers to Scott Rolen and Todd Frazier (a 474-foot shot), then a long ball to Jay Bruce in the sixth and the Reds beat the Mets, 6-1, Wednesday night at Great American Ball Park. The three homers matched the most surrendered by Dickey as a Met and deprived him of win No. 16.

Mike Leake became the third pitcher to toss a complete game against the Mets this season, joining Toronto's Brandon Morrow and Atlanta's Paul Maholm.

The Mets dropped a season-worst seven games under .500.

Now, Matt Harvey (1-3, 3.63 ERA) takes the mound tonight trying to arrest a personal three-game losing streak and help the Mets avoid a sweep. He opposes right-hander Homer Bailey (10-7, 4.08).

The Mets have not been swept in Cincinnati since the season-opening series in 2005, when stopgap closer Braden Looper blew Pedro Martinez's debut with the organization on Opening Day by serving up consecutive ninth-inning homers to Adam Dunn and Joe Randa.

Thursday's news reports:

• Plate umpire James Hoye, supported by crew chief Jim Joyce, instructed Dickey to remove a pair a bracelets from the wrist of his glove hand during the second inning. Dickey said the bracelets had been made by his daughters before his offseason climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, and that he had worn the jewelry since January. Trainer Ray Ramirez had to be cut the bracelets because they were homemade and did not have fasteners. Dickey admitted being angry in the moment, but downplayed the significance on his performance -- even though Terry Collins said pitchers loathe changes to their patterns and suggested it may have affected the knuckleballer.


Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Crew chief Jim Joyce offers further explanation to R.A. Dickey about his bracelet removal before the start of the bottom of the third inning.


Dickey said umps told him during a delay when he took the mound the following inning -- which he did not appreciate, either -- that the directive came from Major League Baseball's uniform police, not the Reds or even the crew itself. Collins and Dickey found the timing curious, since it is already August and he had worn the bracelets all season without issue. Dickey said there are jewelry and other assorted violations across baseball, and likened the enforcement to a holding penalty in football -- that it can be enforced on any play. (Case in point: Check Felix Hernandez's left wrist in this photo after completing the final out of his perfect game Wednesday in Seattle.)

This wasn't the first time a bracelet had become an issue in a Mets game. Nine years ago, Jae Weong Seo became unnerved when Braves manager Bobby Cox convinced umps to force him to remove a Buddhist bracelet. Seo immediately surrendered a homer to Andruw Jones in that May 25, 2003 game at Turner Field.

Joyce told Mark Hale in the Post after Wednesday's game: "You cannot wear anything on either hand, bracelet-type or anything like that." Told Dickey had worn it all season, Joyce added: "Tonight we saw it, this crew saw it, and we just asked him to take it off."

• Collins predicted he would go with a different lineup look Thursday, although there is a limit to how much maneuverability the manager has. Options include Kelly Shoppach's Mets debut, Justin Turner getting a start, Jason Bay in the lineup (he has two doubles in three career at-bats against Bailey) or a call-up such as Lucas Duda. Meanwhile, Josh Thole had a franchise-record three passed balls last night.

Read game recaps in the Star-Ledger, Newsday, Record, Times and Daily News.

• The Mets will utilize a six-man rotation beginning Sunday, when Jeremy Hefner starts in D.C. Exempt from the arrangement is Dickey, who will continue to pitch every fifth game. So after Hefner, Dickey should come back on standard rest Monday for the series opener against Colorado at Citi Field, followed by Chris Young on Tuesday and Harvey on Wednesday.

The system should allow Harvey to reach the end of the season without exceeding his front-office-imposed 170-inning limit. It also should give Johan Santana and Young needed extra rest in their first seasons back from shoulder surgery. And Jon Niese has performed dramatically better this season with extra rest between starts.

Analyst Bobby Ojeda on SNY found the timing of the six-man-rotation implementation curious. Ojeda suggested September, after rosters expand, might be more appropriate. Ojeda also linked the bracelet and six-man rotation issues. His point: Collins noted pitchers are creatures of habit when discussing the bracelet issue, but yet is implementing a pitching schedule that could disrupt their sacred between-starts routines.

Read more in the Star-Ledger and Post.

• Shoppach, assigned No. 6, joined his new teammates Wednesday. Rob Johnson was demoted to Buffalo to clear the roster spot. Shoppach actually has caught a knuckleballer before. He rose through the minors in the Red Sox organization with knuckleballer Charlie Zink, plus had limited exposure in spring-training camp in 2005 to Tim Wakefield. Collins said he intends to pair Thole with Dickey, but that could be revisited. Red Sox bullpen coach Gary Tuck gave Shoppach a refresher lesson on catching the knuckleball once they learned he was headed to the Mets. Read more in Newsday, the Star-Ledger and the Daily News.


Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
Citi Field hosted an Ecuador-Chile soccer match on Wednesday night. Pictured, Luis Fernando Saritama (19) of Ecuador tries to stop Eduardo Vargas (11) of Chile.


• With the Mets away, Citi Field hosted soccer Wednesday night. Ecuador beat Chile, 3-0. The crowd on the rainy night was announced at 31,901.

• Former Red Sox first-round pick Craig Hansen, who last had appeared in a professional game in 2010 with the Pirates in the minors, surfaced with Brooklyn on Wednesday. Hansen, a St. John's product selected 26th overall in 2005, allowed one run on three hits and a walk in the eighth inning of the Cyclones' 6-2 loss at Tri-City. His contract keeps him under the Mets' control for 2013. Brian Harrison went 3-for-4 with three RBIs in Savannah's 8-2 win against Lexington. Erik Goeddel tossed seven scoreless innings for St. Lucie. Read Wednesday's full minor league recap here.

TRIVIA: Who started for the Reds at pitcher opposite Pedro on Opening Day in 2005 in Cincinnati?

Wednesday's answer: Shoppach made his major league debut with the Red Sox on May 28, 2005 -- four years after being drafted by the organization out of Baylor. He was traded to Cleveland on Jan. 27, 2006 in the deal that landed Coco Crisp in Boston and subsequently played for the Rays before re-signing with Boston as a free agent last offseason.

Series preview: Mets at Reds

August, 14, 2012
8/14/12
10:05
AM ET

US Presswire
The Mets face (l to r) Mat Latos, Mike Leake and Homer Bailey during a midweek series at Great American Ball Park.
METS (55-60, third place/NL East) vs. CINCINNATI REDS (69-46, first place/NL Central)

Tuesday: RHP Chris Young (3-6, 4.87) vs. RHP Mat Latos (10-3, 3.81), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP R.A. Dickey (15-3, 2.72) vs. RHP Mike Leake (4-7, 4.51), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Matt Harvey (1-3, 3.63) vs. RHP Homer Bailey (10-7, 4.08), 7:10 p.m. ET

Reds short hops

Joey Votto (.342, 14 HR, 49 RBIs) underwent arthroscopic left knee surgery July 17 to repair torn meniscus cartilage. He originally suffered the injury June 29, sliding into third base against San Francisco. Votto further injured the knee sliding last Wednesday while working toward a return and had a second, brief procedure two days later to remove floating cartilage. Votto is expected to return before the end of the month. Cincinnati is 19-8 since Votto became sidelined.

• Rutgers product Todd Frazier has manned either first or third base the past 13 games. Third baseman Scott Rolen (back) missed a fourth straight game Sunday because of back spasms. Minus Votto and Rolen, either ex-Met Miguel Cairo mans first and Frazier third, or Frazier mans first and fellow ex-Met Wilson Valdez handles the hot corner.

• Slumping right fielder Jay Bruce was hitless in 13 at-bats before producing a two-run homer Sunday. He had sat the previous two games because of a lack of production. Despite 22 homers this season, Sunday’s long ball was Bruce’s lone long ball in August. He is hitting .223 (21-for-94) since the All-Star break. Bruce, an All-Star, nonetheless has joined Frank Robinson as the only players in Reds history to reach the 20-homer plateau in each of their first five seasons in the majors.


Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Aroldis Chapman has surrendered only one earned run against National League foes this season.


• Left-hander Aroldis Chapman, named to his first All-Star team this season, is a Cy Young candidate along with fellow closer Craig Kimbrel of the Braves. Chapman registered 103 mph with his fastball multiple times during the weekend and has a historic strikeout rate.

Chapman was named MLB’s Delivery Man of the Month for July after going 13-for-13 in converting save chances while striking out 31, allowing six hits and walking two in 14 1/3 scoreless innings. The 13 saves fell one shy of the franchise record for any month, set by Jeff Shaw in September 1997.

Chapman has converted 20 straight save chances, the longest streak by a Red since Rob Dibble in 1991 tied John Franco’s single-season franchise record by converting 23 straight. Ex-Red Francisco Cordero converted 29 straight spanning the 2008 and ’09 seasons. Chapman has a 0.17 ERA against NL teams this season. The Mets tallied an unearned run against him May 17, while Pittsburgh is the lone NL team to produce an earned run. The flame-throwing southpaw allowed seven earned runs in interleague play.

• The Reds acquired Jonathan Broxton from the Royals at the trading deadline for right-hander Juan Carlos Sulbaran and left-hander Donnie Joseph. Broxton had a 2.27 ERA and 23 saves in 27 chances with Kansas City, but has surrendered four runs in four innings spanning five appearances since the deal.

• Catcher Devon Mesoraco returned from a seven-day concussion DL stint Thursday. He has appealed a three-game suspension for bumping ump Chad Fairchild on July 30, the day he suffered the concussion. Dioner Navarro was demoted.

• Second baseman Brandon Phillips missed five games last week with a strained left calf, but is hitting .347 (34-for-98) since the All-Star break.

• Cincinnati has used only five starting pitchers this season -- Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos and Mike Leake. That’s a modern franchise record. The last major league team that used five starting pitchers wire-to-wire was the 2003 Seattle Mariners, also with Bryan Price as pitching coach. Cincinnati’s streak is expected to end Aug. 18 with a day-night doubleheader.

• The Reds are an MLB-best 22-8 since the All-Star break.

Last series results

Cincinnati won, 3-0, at Citi Field, June 15-17 (AP game recaps)

Reds 7, Mets 3: Jay Bruce hit an inside-the-park homer that left Jason Bay with another concussion and Bronson Arroyo notched his first victory in 5˝ weeks. Brandon Phillips added a two-run shot. Reds slugger Joey Votto and Mets star David Wright were both hit by pitches, but neither led to any trouble. Arroyo (3-4) was pulled in the seventh, having allowed Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ third homer in two games and a two-run drive by Scott Hairston. More

Reds 4, Mets 1: Homer Bailey pitched out of trouble for eight innings and Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer. David Wright hit two of four Mets drives that were caught within steps of the wall. One night after Joey Votto and Wright were both hit by pitches, this time it was Bruce and Lucas Duda. But again, no trouble ensued. Bailey was hit hard by the Mets twice last year in his only previous outings against them. This time he allowed six hits and one walk while striking out three to improve to 4-1 in his last six starts. Aroldis Chapman tossed a hitless ninth for his eighth save. Jon Niese (4-3) made one big mistake to Bruce during seven otherwise effective innings. He struck out seven and walked one. More

Reds 3, Mets 1: Second baseman Brandon Phillips made a between-the-legs flip to start a flashy double play and also hit a tiebreaking single, leading Johnny Cueto and the Reds to a sweep and their sixth straight win. Cueto (8-3) overcame an early bout of dizziness and struck out a season-high eight in seven innings. He also doubled for the first extra-base hit of his career. The only run against Cueto came when he issued a bases-loaded walk to Chris Young. Sean Marshall got four outs for his ninth save in 10 chances. It was 3-1 in the sixth when Lucas Duda led off with a single and Ike Davis followed with a hard grounder up the middle that Phillips backhanded. While in full stride, the All-Star tossed the ball with his bare hand between his legs to shortstop Zack Cozart, who made the relay. Phillips' single capped a three-run rally in the fifth, helped by Duda's wild throw from right. More

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 Cedeńo’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

US Presswire
The Mets face Mike Leake (left) and Mat Latos (right) during a two-game midweek series against Cincinnati.
METS (20-16, third place/NL East) vs. CINCINNATI REDS (18-17, second place/NL Central)

Wednesday: LHP Johan Santana (1-2, 2.92) vs. RHP Mike Leake (0-5, 7.11), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP R.A. Dickey (5-1, 3.65) vs. RHP Mat Latos (2-2, 4.54), 1:10 p.m. ET

Reds short hops

• The right side of Cincinnati’s infield should remain stable for a long time. First baseman Joey Votto signed a 10-year, $225 million extension with the Reds on April 4 that locks him up as least through 2023. Six days later, second baseman Brandon Phillips signed a six-year, $72.5 million contract, through 2017. Votto won the 2010 NL MVP, is a two-time All-Star and earned last year’s Gold Glove at first base. Phillips has been an All-Star the past two seasons and has three Gold Glove awards.


Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Jay Bruce is hitting .365 with seven homers in his past 17 games.


Votto on Sunday became the first player in major league history with three homers in a game including a walk-off grand slam. The final blow came against Washington’s Henry Rodriguez. Votto joined Johnny Bench, Gus Bell, Eric Davis and Aaron Boone as the only players to have multiple three-homer games in their Reds careers. His bat will be turned over to the Hall of Fame, although Votto is not done using it yet. Votto’s first two homers came off Nats starter Edwin Jackson.

• Former Phillie Ryan Madson, who signed a one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Reds last offseason that includes a 2013 mutual option, will not throw a pitch for the organization this season. Madson underwent Tommy John surgery last month. Sean Marshall, who was acquired from the Chicago Cubs in December for left-hander Travis Wood, outfielder Dave Sappelt and minor league infielder Ronald Torreyes, has six saves in the closer’s role.

• The Reds will become the first team since interleague play began to face both New York teams consecutively in the Big Apple. After the two-game series against the Mets, Cincinnati shifts to Yankee Stadium for a weekend interleague series. According to STATS LLC, it will mark the seventh time since interleague play began that a team consecutively has faced opponents in the same market. The Texas Rangers will become No. 8 next month, when they have a combined seven straight games at Oakland and San Francisco.

Aroldis Chapman has tossed 18 1/3 scoreless innings, the most innings logged without allowing a run in the majors among relievers this season.

Mike Leake (0-5, 7.11 ERA) produced his shortest career start Friday at Washington, lasting only three innings while allowing six earned runs. He played at Arizona State with Ike Davis.

• Third baseman Scott Rolen landed on the disabled list Saturday because of left shoulder soreness. Rutgers product Todd Frazier has manned the position in Rolen’s absence, with infielder Mike Costanzo called up to take Rolen’s roster spot.

Zack Cozart became the first rookie shortstop to start on Opening Day for the Reds since Dave Concepcion and Frank Duffy did it consecutively in 1970 and ’71.

• Right fielder Jay Bruce is hitting .365 with seven homers and 17 RBIs in his past 17 games.

Mat Latos was acquired from the San Diego Padres on Dec. 17 for Edinson Volquez, Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger.

• Ex-Met Miguel Cairo returned May 7 from the disabled list, where he had landed with a left hamstring strain. The Reds also employ a second former Met as a utility infielder: Wilson Valdez. Cairo could see limited action at third base if Frazier underperforms.

Matchups

Santana vs. Reds (career: 4-0, 3.23 ERA)
Miguel Cairo .294, 2 BB, 6 K, 20 PA
Brandon Phillips .263, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K, 22 PA
Joey Votto .250, 3 BB, 3 K, 15 PA
Wilson Valdez .200, 2 K, 5 PA
Jay Bruce .182, 1 RBI, 3 K, 11 PA
Ryan Ludwick .160, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 9 K, 27 PA
Drew Stubbs .000, 4 PA

Dickey vs. Reds (career: 1-0, 2.70 ERA)
Ryan Ludwick .333, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 6 PA
Todd Frazier .333, 1 K, 3 PA
Jay Bruce .333, 1 K, 3 PA
Miguel Cairo .333, 3 PA
Wilson Valdez .250, 1 BB, 3 K, 9 PA
Drew Stubbs .250, 1 RBI, 2 K, 4 PA
Brandon Phillips .200, 1 RBI, 1 K, 5 PA
Ryan Hanigan .000, 1 PA

Leake vs. Mets (career: 0-1, 2.19 ERA)
Justin Turner .667, 1 BB, 4 PA
Ronny Cedeno .364, 1 RBI, 12 PA
Daniel Murphy .333, 3 PA
Andres Torres .286, 1 BB, 4 K, 8 PA
David Wright .167, 2 K, 6 PA
Ike Davis .000, 2 PA

Latos vs. Mets (career: 2-1, 3.00 ERA)
Ronny Cedeno .500, 1BB, 5 PA
Lucas Duda .333, 1 K, 3 PA
Andres Torres .308, 1 RBI, 5 K, 13 PA
David Wright .143, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 8 PA
Ike Davis .000, 1 K, 2 PA
Rob Johnson .000, 2 PA

Last series results

Cincinnati won, 2-1, at Citi Field, Sept. 26-28, 2011 (AP game recaps)

Reds 6, Mets 5: Chris Heisey hit a go-ahead, three-run homer just moments after making a diving catch and Cincinnati held off New York. Jose Reyes had three hits for the Mets to take over the NL batting lead, but his baserunning blunder in the eighth inning cost them a chance to tie the game. Reyes lined an RBI double into the right-field corner to cut it to 6-5. Perhaps expecting a throw to the plate that would allow him to take third, Reyes took a wide turn around second -- much too far. The Reds threw behind him and he was easily tagged out. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce singled off Tim Byrdak (2-1) in the seventh before Heisey hit the first pitch from Josh Stinson over the 16-foot fence in left field. Logan Ondrusek (5-5) got one out for the win and Francisco Cordero escaped a jam in the ninth to earn his 36th save.

Reds 5, Mets 4 (13 innings): Jose Reyes hit two solo homers, putting pop into his bid for the NL batting title, but the Reds won on Drew Stubbs' squeeze bunt in the 13th inning. Juan Francisco, who entered after Reds star Brandon Phillips exited early with a strained left quadriceps, hit a tying double with two outs in the ninth. He then hustled for a triple in the 13th and scored on Stubbs' bunt. Justin Turner lined into a double play with the bases loaded to end the game, leaving Reyes on deck. The Reds left the bases loaded in the 10th when pinch-hitter Dontrelle Willis struck out, and left them loaded again in the 11th when Chris Heisey grounded out. Sam LeCure (2-1) got the win and Francisco Cordero held on for his 37th save in 43 chances. Dale Thayer (0-3) took the loss. Both of Reyes' home runs came against Bronson Arroyo. Jay Bruce hit his 32nd home run and Joey Votto hit his 29th for the Reds.

Mets 3, Reds 0: After a bunt single in the first inning, Jose Reyes was finished. The strategy paid off: Reyes won the National League batting title that night when Milwaukee's Ryan Braun went 0-for-4. The hit elevated Reyes' average to .337057 and gave him a 2˝-point lead over Braun. The Brewers star needed to go 3-for-4 to overtake Reyes. He finished at .332. And that gave the Mets their first batting champion. Fans chanted "Please stay, Jose!" throughout the ninth inning, and he gave a salute to the crowd as he walked off the field. Chants of "Jo-se Re-yes!" continued after he threw his hat into the stands as he disappeared into the home dugout. Meanwhile, Miguel Batista (5-2) pitched a two-hitter for his 11th complete game -- and his first since July 19, 2006, for Arizona. He allowed a one-out single to Edgar Renteria in the first and leadoff double to Chris Heisey in the second. Queens product Mike Baxter hit his first big league homer, a two-run drive off Edinson Volquez (5-7) in the sixth. Nick Evans singled in a run in the fourth. The Mets, beset with financial issues, traded Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez during the season, lost David Wright for several months with a back injury and finished their third straight losing season at 77-85. The Mets announced a crowd of 28,816, giving them a final attendance of 2,352,596, a drop of about 7 percent from 2010 and their lowest total since ’04.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.287 7 37 57
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 15
RBIL. Duda 50
RD. Murphy 57
OPSL. Duda .841
WB. Colon 8
ERAJ. Niese 3.13
SOZ. Wheeler 112