Mets 7, Reds 2
CINCINNATI (AP)—No matter how deep the slump or how unfamiliar the ballpark, Tom Glavine can usually count on getting a win in Cincinnati.
Jeromy Burnitz had three hits, including a long three-run homer that broke the game open and left Glavine (6-8) in line for a long-awaited win.
“It becomes a mental thing,” said Glavine, who signed a three-year contract with the Mets in the offseason. “You fall into that mode of trying to avoid mistakes, trying to avoid losing. I’ve probably been fighting that during this stretch.”
The left-hander was 0-5 with a no-decision since his previous victory, a span that included two injuries. He lasted only one inning on June 5 because of a tender elbow, and had to leave a game on June 22 after being hit in the stomach by a Derek Jeter line drive.
He got comfortable as soon as he got to Cincinnati, where he was nearly always successful during his 16 years with Atlanta. He went 16-4 with a 3.24 ERA at Cinergy Field, and his first victory at Great American Ball Park left him 25-9 against the Reds.
“It’s exactly what I needed,” Glavine said. “Whatever I had over there (at Cinergy), fortunately they backed it up and brought it over here.”
Not exactly. Like a lot of other pitchers, Glavine had some problems with the mound at the new place, which has been repeatedly checked and found to conform to baseball’s standards.
“There’s not a lot there, there really isn’t,” said Glavine, who gave up four hits, including the first of Jose Guillen’s two solo homers. “I know they’ve measured it and remeasured it, but there’s a big difference between the bullpen mound and that mound.
“You’ve got to use your legs and work really hard to keep the ball down. I never felt I had a lot of momentum from the mound. You have to work to generate it from your legs.”
None of the Reds could tell that anything was different. Glavine struck out five, walked one and got eight ground-ball outs.
“He was really something today,” manager Bob Boone said. “He was getting those ground balls to the shortstop and changing speeds and hitting his spots.”
Burnitz had three hits, including one of the longest homers yet at Great American. His decisive drive in the seventh inning deflected off a walkway on the home run smokestacks in center, a drive estimated at 444 feet.
The Mets had 14 hits in all and batted around in the seventh for four runs off Jimmy Haynes (1-8) and two relievers, sending the Reds to their ninth loss in 13 games. Cincinnati and four errors, pushing its major league-leading total to 80.
Guillen had three of the Reds’ seven hits, including another solo homer off John Franco in the eighth, his 17th of the season.
The major leagues’ best comeback team tried to pull off another one in the ninth, loading the bases against David Weathers with two outs. Armando Benitez threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Ken Griffey Jr. to get his 20th save in 26 chances.
Haynes got the loss despite another solid start. He gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings, leaving with the Mets up 2-1 and Joe McEwing on second base. Felix Heredia gave up an RBI single to Raul Gonzalez, another single to Ty Wigginton and the game-breaking homer by Burnitz, his 16th.
The only homer that’s been more impressive at the new ballpark was Sammy Sosa’s drive off the top of the batter’s eye on June 18, his first game back from a suspension for using a corked bat.
Glavine had his way with a lineup missing Griffey and Barry Larkin, who were off following a night game. First baseman Sean Casey returned from a two-gamesuspension for his part in a June 13 brawl with the Phillies and went 1-for-3.
LHP Al Leiter will miss his scheduled start Saturday because of a sore right knee. Steve Trachsel will take his place. … C Vance Wilson also had three hits, matching his career high. … SS Jose Reyes was scratched from the Mets lineup because of a tight hamstring. He also missed a game on Wednesday. … The Reds activated INF Ryan Freel from the 15-day DL and optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Freel hit .268 in 16 games before suffering a hamstring tear. … C Jason LaRue left in the fourth after aggravating his bruised left shoulder. OF Wily Mo Pena pinch hit, flied out and pulled a hamstring in theseventh.