Fogg, Votto lead Reds to 7-2 victory over Mets

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CINCINNATI (AP)—For the New York Mets, it was a throwback game.

They hit into three double plays. Took a pair of third strikes with the bases loaded. Misplayed a pair of balls in the outfield. Gave up walks and had a passed ball.

And, they lost.

Right-hander Josh Fogg extended his midseason resurgence by getting New York to hit into three double plays, and Joey Votto drove in three runs Saturday night, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-2 victory over the Mets.

After winning 10 in a row and moving into a first-place tie with Philadelphia in the NL East, the Mets have dropped two in a row. In this one, their clutch hitting, their defense and their bullpen all let them down.

“We just didn’t play good baseball tonight,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “We had a chance to deliver some blows, and we didn’t. We had a chance to catch the ball on defense, and we didn’t. It wasn’t a good game for us. This is really the first game in a long time we played this way. Hopefully it’s an aberration kind of thing.”

Votto had a run-scoring single off Oliver Perez (6-6), then broke the game open with a two-run triple in the seventh. Right fielder Fernando Tatis dived but couldn’t come up with the diving liner, allowing Votto to get his first triple.

“It took me, what, four months?” said Votto, who had everything except the triple. “But I finally got my cycle.”

Ken Griffey Jr. also had a run-scoring double off Perez, who gave up three runs in six innings. Perez walked three batters, and two of them scored.

“It was one of those days where sometimes you don’t feel good,” Perez said. “You have to do your best and keep your team in the game.”

The Mets remained a game behind Philadelphia, which lost to Florida 9-5 earlier in the day. The teams will play a three-game series at Shea Stadium beginning on Tuesday.

Fogg (2-2) escaped serious damage by inducing three double plays in his six innings—just what he needed to get his first victory since April 9, when he was in his first stint in the rotation. He has overcome a demotion to the bullpen and a stint on the disabled list before settling in.

“The defense played great behind me,” said Fogg, who gave up eight hits in six innings but only two runs. “I got into a little trouble here and there, and those guys bailed me out.”

He wasn’t the only one who gave the Mets fits with runners on base. New York loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but David Wright—who was 3-for-3 with a homer at that point—and Carlos Beltran took full-count third strikes from Mike Lincoln. Those two pitches became a turning point.

Wright was frozen by a curve for strike three.

“He threw me a big 3-2 curveball,” Wright said. “As a hitter, it’s tough to do something when he throws good pitches like that.”

Fogg started the season in the rotation but was hit hard in three starts, leading to his demotion to the bullpen. He was rarely used as a reliever, and went on the disabled list with a sore back.

Since his comeback, the right-hander has given up only five earned runs in 17 1-3 innings during three starts. Wright had three hits off him, leaving him 7-for-14 career off Fogg with three homers.

Before the game, the Reds inducted shortstop Barry Larkin, outfielder Cesar Geronimo, pitcher Joey Jay and executive Garry Herrmann into their Hall of Fame. The first pitch was 11 minutes late because the inductions went long.

Notes

The crowd of 41,959 was the Reds’ fourth sellout this season. … Surgery has been recommended for Mets OF Angel Pagan, who tore the labrum in his left shoulder on May 7. He’ll get a second opinion next week. … RH Orlando Hernandez will be examined by a foot specialist on Monday. Hernandez had soreness in his right foot while pitching in a minor league game on Thursday night. Hernandez is trying to come back from foot surgery last Oct. 18. … Griffey’s RBI double was the 1,133rd extra-base hit of his career, tying Tris Speaker for 11th on the career list. Ty Cobb is 10th with 1,140. … Adam Dunn singled home a run, ending his all-or-nothing streak. His last six hits had been home runs. … Jay Bruce singled in the seventh inning, extending his hitting streak to eight games.

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