NEW YORK-Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker believes luck can be a result of positive thinking. That may or may not be the case, but it's certainly easier these days for the Reds to generate upbeat thoughts than it is for the New York Mets.
Brandon Phillips broke a tie with an RBI single just fair down the third base line in the seventh inning and broke another tie with a quirky RBI double down the first base line in the ninth inning to lead the Reds to a 7-4 win over the reeling Mets in front of 30,415 at Citi Field.
The Reds (29-18) completed a three-game sweep of the Mets (17-27) and finished 7-2 on a nine-game road trip. Cincinnati is now 13-12 on the road, a pretty impressive feat for a team that opened the season 3-10 away from home.
"We started fairly poorly on the road," right fielder Jay Bruce said. "To come back this road trip and win seven of nine was very big for us. It's more the type of team we are. We play well on the road and we expect to win, and that's what we did."
Zack Cozart had a career-high four hits for the Reds and scored two runs while the blistering Joey Votto extended his hitting streak to 11 games by going 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and three runs scored.
But the big hits on Wednesday went about 250 feet combined off the bat of Phillips, whose two RBI gave him an NL-leading 40. In the seventh, Phillips pulled a full count pitch from Matt Harvey down the third base line to score Cozart and give the Reds a 3-2 lead.
With runners on the corners and one out in the ninth, Phillips' slow grounder up the first-base line kicked up chalk before Ike Davis crouched to make the play. But Davis appeared to think the ball was foul and didn't lift his glove up as the ball bounced over it and into shallow foul territory.
Shin-Soo Choo scored easily with what proved to be the winning run, and after an intentional walk to Bruce, pinch-hitter Todd Frazier delivered a broken bat two-run single into short centerfield for the final margin.
"Those are the kind of breaks you get when you're thinking positively," Baker said. "I had a coach with the Braves when I was a kid who said to be lucky, you've got to think lucky."
Phillips wasn't thinking of getting lucky hits when he stepped the plate in the seventh and ninth, but he was certainly pleased with the outcome.
"It was a weird hit, it was a weird run," Phillips said, referring to his ninth-inning hit. "But I'll take all the weirdness in the world if we win. It doesn't matter how you win, it's who put the ‘W' up there. Whoever touches home plate the most, that's the guys that win the game. Regardless of how crazy a game is or how weird it is, as long as you win, that's what it's all about."
The Mets, meanwhile, keep coming up with weirder ways to lose games - especially at Citi Field, where they have lost six in a row and seven of nine this month.
The beleaguered Davis - who went 0-for-2 with two walks Wednesday and is 1-for-38 in his last 10 games - was called for obstruction during the Reds' three-run first inning in Cincinnati's 4-3 win Monday night. And in the finale of a six-game home stand on May 12, the Mets had a potential winning rally against the Pirates snuffed out when Lucas Duda's shot high off the first base bag bounced to Brandon Inge, who threw Duda out to end the inning.
"It's the way things have been going," Mets manager Terry Collins said of the ninth inning. "And that just typifies everything that's happened."
Alfredo Simon (4-1) picked up the win for the Reds with a scoreless eighth and Aroldis Chapman posted his 10th save with a one-hit ninth.
Bobby Parnell (4-1) took the loss for the Mets. Rick Ankiel went 3-for-4 with three extra-base hits, including an RBI double in the first and a game-tying RBI triple in the seventh. Daniel Murphy also went 3-for-4 with two runs scored while Ruben Tejada scored twice.
The duel of young aces Harvey and Mat Latos didn't quite match the anticipation, but both pitchers remained unbeaten after escaping with no-decisions.
Harvey, who was in line to take the loss before the Mets' seventh-inning comeback, gave up a season-high four runs and nine hits while walking three and striking out six in 6 1/3 innings.
Latos squandered the 4-2 lead in the seventh and allowed four runs, eight hits and one walk while striking out four in 6 2/3 innings.
"You make a mistake like I did in the first inning and that could be the game with the way he's been throwing," Latos said. "I was fortunate that he did give up four runs, but I gave up four runs too."
NOTES: Latos and Bruce had a heated exchange in the dugout after Bruce's throw home was off-target on Murphy's game-tying sacrifice fly to shallow right in the fifth. Afterward, both players declined to go into detail about what happened. ... Right-handed pitcher Zach Wheeler, the Mets' top prospect, allowed three runs in five innings in his start on Wednesday for Triple-A Las Vegas. Wheeler missed his last start because of mild shoulder inflammation. ... Rice has appeared in 27 of the Mets' first 44 games, which puts him on pace to pitch in 100 games. That would be the second most all time behind Mike Marshall, who worked 104 games for the Dodgers in 1974. ... Votto's 11-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .512 (22-for-43), is his second streak of at least 10 games this season. ... Phillips' go-ahead single extended his hitting streak to a season-high 10 games. ... Cozart has collected three hits in a game 11 times, including April 13 and April 17 of this year.