Mets 3, Reds 2
NEW YORK (AP)—The New York Mets have had all sorts of adventures during their 46 seasons. What happened Thursday night, however, they had never done before.
Reyes, fresh off his three-hit performance in the All-Star game, led off the bottom of the first with his fifth homer and Gotay followed with his fourth, both against Bronson Arroyo (3-10). It was the third time this season that the Mets hit back-to-back homers but the first time in 7,238 games the club opened that way.
“I don’t know if they were mistakes,” Arroyo said. “I threw the pitch I wanted to Reyes. The other one (to Gotay) was a 2-1 breaking ball. I was surprised he hit it out of the park.”
It was a strong start in the first game since New York dismissed hitting coach Rick Down and added Rickey Henderson to the coaching staff. It has not been decided whether Henderson or first base coach Howard Johnson will replace Down, but Johnson filled the role against Cincinnati.
New York also jettisoned 48-year-old Julio Franco, who hit only .200 in 50 at-bats with one home run and eight RBIs, and promoted Milledge from the minors.
Hernandez (5-4) allowed three hits and two runs, struck out seven and walked three.
“I think it was a little difficult coming back after the All-Star game and three days without throwing,” Hernandez said. “I threw yesterday but it was a little difficult.”
Scott Hatteberg hit a two-run single in the second to tie it at 2 but the Mets went in front for good in the fifth.
Milledge, who got the start in left field, led off with a single. Arroyo then retired Hernandez and Reyes before Gotay’s drive fell just in front of diving center fielder Ryan Freel.
Milledge circled the bases and barely beat the play at home, touching the plate with his hand ahead of catcher David Ross’ tag.
“It was a good throw and that made it pretty close,” Milledge said. “I knew it would be close. I kind of waited a split second to get my hand in around him a little.”
Brandon Phillips led off the ninth with a single, ending a streak of 18 consecutive hitters retired by New York. He advanced on a groundout but was caught off second when Edwin Encarnacion bounced to Reyes at shortstop.
Encarnacion stole second before Jeff Conine grounded out to end the game.
Cincinnati finished with just four hits and fell to 5-2 under interim manager Pete Mackanin, who took over for Jerry Narron earlier this month.
Reyes’ drive was his ninth career leadoff homer, a Mets franchise record. He had been tied with Len Dykstra and Tommie Agee. … Hernandez’s stolen base in the second inning was the second steal of his career. … Milledge’s single was his first hit of the season for the Mets. He had been 0-for-3 in a brief stay in April.