Both teams hope they can turn around their poor play when they meet for a weekend series at Shea Stadium.
The Mets lost 5-1 to the Montreal Expos on Thursday to complete a 2-6 trip. They have lost 12 of 15 overall as they return home for the first of 10 games.
The Reds only get three games on the road before they have to return home for seven games. The way they are playing at Great American Ball Park, they’d probably prefer a longer trip.
Cincinnati completed a 1-7 homestand with Thursday’s 7-5, 11-inning loss to Pittsburgh and has lost 20 of its last 27 at its new stadium. The Reds made three more errors to run their major league-leading total to 97.
“I think it’s apparent that we’ve got a lot of issues on this team,” infielder Aaron Boone said. “We just give up too many runs. As much as people blame the pitching, we don’t catch the ball too well either. Good teams make plays—run down balls, close up holes—and we don’t.”
Cincinnati has won its last three road games.
The two longest current hitting streaks in the National League will be on the line Friday. Cincinnati’s D’Angelo Jimenez has hit in 14 straight games, while New York rookie Jason Phillips extended his streak to 12 games Thursday.
STANDINGS: Reds - 5th place, 11 1/2 GB, NL Central. Mets - 5th place, 25 GB, NL East.
REDS PROBABLE STARTER: Danny Graves (4-10, 5.59 ERA). Graves is 0-3 in his last four starts. The struggling right-hander has yielded at least five runs in each of those outings, and has surrendered seven home runs in his last three starts. He is 2-1 in 18 games, including one start, against the Mets.
METS PROBABLE STARTER: Al Leiter (8-5, 5.47 ERA). Leiter is 0-2 in his last three starts and continues to struggle with his control. The veteran left-hander gave up only three hits in five innings Sunday against Atlanta, but walked four and allowed two runs before leaving without a decision in New York’s 11-8 loss. Leiter has walked at least four in four straight starts. He is 6-7 lifetime against Cincinnati.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Reds - Jose Guillen, .342 avg.; Adam Dunn, 25 HRs and 59 runs; Boone, 63 RBIs and 13 SBs. Mets - Phillips, .326 avg.; Cliff Floyd, 16 HRs and 54 RBIs; Ty Wigginton, 53 runs; Wigginton and Roger Cedeno, 7 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Mets, 3-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Reds - Cincinnati has won three of its last five series at Shea Stadium. … The Reds struck out four times Thursday, increasing their major league-leading total to 822. … Cincinnati is 29-23 in games decided by two or fewer runs. Mets - 1B Phillips’ hit streak is the longest by a Mets player this season, surpassing Jeromy Burnitz’s 11-game streak. … The Mets have been outscored 83-51 in the first inning. … New York totaled just three runs in the two games at Montreal. The Mets are 6-39 when scoring three runs or less.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Reds - 22-28 on the road; Mets - 20-28 at home.
INJURIES: Reds - OF Austin Kearns (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Wily Mo Pena (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Scott Sullivan (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Gabe White (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Luke Prokopec (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Ken Griffey Jr. (ankle), 60-day DL. Mets - C Mike Piazza (groin), 15-day DL; 1B Mo Vaughn (knee), 60-day DL; RHP Pedro Astacio (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Grant Roberts (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Strickland (groin), 60-day DL.