Mets’ Reyes Homers Twice, Leads NL Batting Race By 1 Point
Updated at 12:45 a.m., Sept. 28, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) — Jose Reyes hit two home runs, made a diving stop and finished the day leading the NL batting race.
Still, he was disappointed.
“I feel like I didn’t do anything because we didn’t win,” he said.
Reyes put pop into his bid for the batting crown, but the Cincinnati Reds beat the New York Mets 5-4 on Tuesday night on Drew Stubbs’ squeeze bunt in the 13th inning.
Reyes began the next-to-last game of the season with a minuscule .00003 lead over Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun. Reyes went 3 for 6 and raised his average to .336, finishing the evening one point ahead of Braun, who went 1 for 2 in a 6-4 win over Pittsburgh.
The Mets wind up Wednesday afternoon against the Reds. Braun has a night game.
“I’m going to play tomorrow, for sure,” Reyes said.
Juan Francisco, who entered after Reds star Brandon Phillips exited early with a strained left quadriceps, hit a tying double with two outs in the ninth. He then hustled for a triple in the 13th and scored on Stubbs’ bunt.
Justin Turner lined into a double play with the bases loaded to end the game, leaving Reyes on deck.
Reyes certainly made his case to become the Mets’ first batting champion. He launched a drive into the Reds’ bullpen in deep right-center field in the third inning, scoring his 100th run of the season. The next time up, the speedy leadoff man lined a drive that banged the facade of the upper deck in right.
Cheered by fans who realize the All-Star shortstop might play his final game for the Mets on Wednesday afternoon, Reyes came out for a curtain call after that fifth-inning shot. The home runs gave him seven this season and were his first since Aug. 2, a stretch interrupted by an injured hamstring. This was his first multihomer game since June 19, 2010.
Reyes, who will be a free agent after the season, said he appreciated the crowd support, especially because “I don’t know if I’m going to be in Citi Field next year.”
Reyes added an infield single with two outs in the ninth. He fought off an inside fastball from Aroldis Chapman and beat out a broken-bat dribbler down the third base line, taking second when the reliever made a wild throw. Reyes stole third and bluffed a dash home, trying to get Chapman to balk, but was left stranded.
The Reds left the bases loaded in the 10th when pinch-hitter Dontrelle Willis struck out, and left them loaded again in the 11th when Chris Heisey grounded out.
Reyes flied out to end the bottom of the 11th, emptying many of the remaining fans at the ballpark.
Sam LeCure (2-1) got the win and Francisco Cordero held on for his 37th save in 43 chances. Dale Thayer (0-3) took the loss.
Both of Reyes’ home runs came against Bronson Arroyo. The Reds right-hander went eight innings and has pitched 199 season — he desperately wanted to reach 200 for the seventh straight year — and threw a complete game in his previous start. Arroyo left for a pinch-hitter in the ninth.
Arroyo has allowed 46 homers this year. That’s two short of Jose Lima’s NL record and four shy of the major league mark of 50 set by Bert Blyleven in 1986.
“I really wanted to go deep in the ballgame, but I let a couple balls out of the park. I was frustrated, but it’s good to see us battle back for the win,” Arroyo said.
Jay Bruce hit his 32nd home run and Joey Votto hit his 29th for the Reds.
Mets starter Chris Capuano struck out nine in six innings. It was a strong effort, the kind the Boston Red Sox wanted when they recently tried to trade for him to bolster their AL wild-card run.
Capuano was a pleasant surprise for the Mets, signed after two Tommy John surgeries. The former All-Star, who missed two seasons because of his injuries, didn’t miss a start this year and wound up making 31 overall.
The Mets lost shortly after announcing they had picked up the 2013 option on manager Terry Collins’ contract.
NOTES: Reyes has had six two-homer games, plus a three-homer performance. … Reyes also made a nifty diving stop up the middle to rob Heisey of an RBI single in the eighth. … Edinson Volquez (5-6, 5.84) will start the yearender for the Reds vs. Miguel Batista (4-2, 4.24). … Mets LF Jason Bay, out of the lineup with a sinus infection, was a pinch-runner in the 13th.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)