Reds 8, Mets 3
NEW YORK (AP)—Jose Acevedo worries he might never get called up to the majors again. If he keeps this up, he won’t have to wait for that call at all.
Acevedo struck out a career-high 10 in his first complete game, and Adam Dunn had three hits and two RBIs as the Cincinnati Reds snapped a four-game losing streak with an 8-3 win over the New York Mets on Saturday night.
The 25-year-old Acevedo spent most of 2002 at Triple-A Louisville after going 5-7 with a 5.44 ERA for Cincinnati in 2001.
“I take this like it’s my last opportunity,” he said. “I need to show what I can do. I know I’ve got it.”
The Reds scored three times in the first inning en route to their second win in nine games since the All-Star break.
Acevedo (2-0) was overpowering. He threw 111 pitches—81 strikes—and struck out four straight in the fourth and fifth innings. He has won two in a row since being recalled from Louisville on July 18.
Acevedo, who threw seven scoreless innings and allowed only two hits at Milwaukee on July 21, gave up three runs and five hits while walking two.
“I was so excited,” Acevedo said of finishing the game. “When you get excited, you don’t get tired.”
Dunn spent extra time working on his swing the last few days, and it paid off. He singled in the first, doubled to start the third and singled home two runs in the sixth. The left fielder had been in a 5-for-47 slump.
“I hope it paid off—I didn’t do it because I like to sweat,” Dunn said of the extra batting practice. “I was just trying to figure out what the heck was going on.”
Aaron Boone added two singles and two RBIs for Cincinnati.
The Reds, hurt by a 7.76 ERA in the first inning this season, finally had a big opening of their own. They scored three runs to shake up Mets rookie Aaron Heilman, who struck out five but gave up six runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Heilman (1-3), coming off his first major league victory, hit leadoff batter D’Angelo Jimenez with a pitch, setting up a big first inning.
Two outs later, Boone hit a two-run single. He scored on the next pitch when Ruben Mateo doubled to right-center.
“That’s the difference in the game: They got two-out hits, we did not,” Mets manager Art Howe said.
Sean Casey added an RBI single that scored Dunn in the third inning before the Reds broke the game open in the sixth. Dunn hit the first pitch from reliever Graeme Lloyd into right field for a two-run single.
“I feel like I’m making progress. The key for me is getting ahead and I didn’t do that in the first inning,” Heilman said. “It’s a learning experience every day. You have to take something from every start, win or loss.”
Acevedo tied his career high of seven strikeouts by the fourth inning, when he struck out the Mets in order. A native of the Dominican Republic, he said he concentrated on working hard during winter ball.
“I just got ready and waited for the phone call,” Acevedo said. “My mind grew up a little bit. I’m trying to be consistent.
“Coming to the big leagues, this is a big shot. I call it my last opportunity because they’ve brought me up a couple of times, and I need to show I can really do it.”
Cliff Floyd homered in the second for the Mets, his 17th.
New York’s roster includes several young prospects who were playing together in the minors earlier this season.
“We’re not used to losing,” Jason Phillips said. “We’re more determined to turn it around. You get tired of guys beating up on you. We want to returnthe favor.”
Phillips extended his hitting steak to 14 games with a third-inning single. … Jimenez had his 15-game hitting streak snapped. The second baseman had hit in every game since being traded from the White Sox on July 6. … The Reds have pitched back-to-back complete games. Danny Graves threw eight innings in New York’s 3-1 win Friday. … The Reds optioned INF Brandon Larson toLouisville.