Arroyo, Reds snap Mets’ 10-game winning streak
CINCINNATI (AP)—A whole lot of little things ended the New York Mets’ winning streak.
It took a lot of Arroyo and a little bit of luck to end the Mets’ run, which ended one win shy of the franchise record. The 10 straight victories put them back in contention in the NL East. Their first loss in exactly two weeks dropped them one game behind Philadelphia in the division.
“They continued to battle right to the end,” Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. “It was exciting and fun. They deserve a big pat on the back. But we’ve got work ahead.”
A basic-as-it-gets rally finally finished it.
The Reds scored four times in the fifth off John Maine (8-7) despite getting only two balls out of the infield. Ken Griffey Jr. drew a bases-loaded walk, Brandon Phillips lofted a two-run single into shallow right field, and Edwin Encarnacion got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
“Just good placement,” Phillips said of his hit. “It’s a beautiful thing.”
Jay Bruce hit a solo homer off Maine, who has failed to last five innings in three of his last four starts.
“I don’t know what it is,” Maine said. “I work hard between starts. I go out there and the little things here and the little things there are hurting you.”
Arroyo (8-7) has been extremely streaky this season. The right-hander is in one of his upturns, winning his last four starts. The majors’ hottest team managed only four hits off Arroyo, including Carlos Beltran’s RBI double.
The eight innings matched Arroyo’s longest performance of the season.
“A lot of times, you get into a groove where you feel like you’re unbeatable, and I feel like that lately,” Arroyo said.
Francisco Cordero, who blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning Thursday night, gave up a walk in the ninth before finishing it off for his 20th save in 25 chances.
Exquisite starting pitching was the foundation of the Mets’ surge. Their staff threw four shutouts in the last six games before the All-Star break, but hasn’t been the same since. The Mets blew two leads in their 10-8 win Thursday night, and Maine gave the Reds plenty of assistance during their decisive rally on Friday.
The Reds loaded the bases on Paul Bako’s single, Bruce’s walk and Jeff Keppinger’s infield single with two outs. Keppinger’s grounder took a high hop and left third baseman David Wright in a tough spot. He tried to make a backhand swipe and step on the base simultaneously, but couldn’t come up with the ball.
“It just didn’t work out,” Wright said.
Griffey fouled off a 94 mph fastball with a full count to extend his at-bat, then took one low and away to force in a run. Phillips got just enough of a pitch to loft it over the head of first baseman Carlos Delgado for two more runs.
After Adam Dunn was intentionally walked to reload the bases, Maine hit Encarnacion to make it 5-2 and end his outing. Maine walked five, threw a wild pitch and hit one batter as he fell to 0-3 in three career starts against Cincinnati.
Although Maine was downcast, his manager saw indications that he’s pulling out of his slump.
“When you make a pitch and they bloop it, there’s nothing you can do,” Manuel said. “They didn’t hit him hard.”
Even so, Maine was upset by his ugly pitching line. He needed 102 pitches to go 4 2-3 innings.
“I’m just struggling right now in all aspects,” he said. “I can’t throw strikes, I walk too many people.”
The Mets won 11 straight in 1969, 1972, 1986 and 1990. … RHP Pedro Martinez is still scheduled to throw in the bullpen on Saturday to test his sore groin. Martinez got an injection for the injury on Thursday. If he has no problems, he could start Tuesday against Philadelphia. “We’ll see what he looks like tomorrow,” Manuel said. “He just has to say that he feels good.” … Reds OF Ryan Freel will have surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn tendon that attaches to the base of his right hamstring. Freel has been sidelined since June 4. There’s no timetable for his recovery. … The Reds honored Griffey, Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan before the game for their career Gold Glove honors.