5-Run 8th Inning Propels Mets Past Reds
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NEW YORK (AP) — When David Wright came to the plate for the last time, the Cincinnati Reds had little choice — they had to pitch to him.
And Wright pounded them, the same way he’s punished most everyone else this season.
Wright lined his second double of the game, a tiebreaking drive in the eighth inning that raised his major league-leading average to .411 and sent the New York Mets past the Reds 9-4 Thursday.
“All is good,” Wright said.
Down 4-0, the Mets began their comeback in the middle innings. Then, they were the surprise winners in a matchup of bullpens that were going in different directions, and spoiled the Reds’ extended stay in New York.
Ronny Cedeno’s three-run homer capped a five-run eighth against Logan Ondrusek (3-1), a burst that began with a neatly placed bunt single by backup catcher Rob Johnson with one out.
Wright was up next and, after his shot down the left-field line was inches foul, sent a one-hopper off the wall in center for a 5-4 lead.
Playing despite a cold that had him sniffling, he went 2 for 2, drew three walks, scored three runs and stole a base. Wright, meanwhile, said he can do better despite a .513 on-base percentage.
“I’m getting some pitches to hit and I’m just not putting them in play,” he said.
Wright clapped after he pulled into second base with his go-ahead hit. More than an hour after the final out, Wright walked from the shower area to his locker as his teammates applauded.
“Give it up for my man!” second baseman Daniel Murphy shouted.
Wright scored the tying run in the seventh as the Mets became the first team this year to dent Aroldis Chapman.
Chapman had not allowed a run in 19 1-3 innings this season, striking out 34. But the rocket-armed Reds reliever issued a leadoff walk to Wright and a soft single to Lucas Duda to begin the inning.
Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs missed a sliding catch on Murphy’s blooper and was charged with an error that loaded the bases, and pinch-hitter Justin Turner made it 4-all with a sacrifice fly. It was an unearned run and Chapman left with his 0.00 ERA intact, but the damage was done.
Turner added an RBI single in the eighth before Cedeno’s first homer.
Cincinnati began the day with the best bullpen ERA in the NL while the Mets had among the worst. But a trio of Mets relievers pitched scoreless ball, with Bobby Parnell (1-0) getting the win.
“We didn’t play well the last five innings. They didn’t play well the first four innings,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
“Everything they did was right,” he said.
The Reds move from Queens to the Bronx on Friday night for a series against the Yankees. Cincinnati is the first team to play both New York clubs on the same road trip since interleague play began in 1997.
Like any tourist coming to town, the Reds hope to avoid getting lost. It happened to one unidentified Cincinnati player this week when a taxi driver took him to Yankee Stadium instead of Citi Field, and he arrived late at the ballpark.
Joey Votto lined a solo home run off the facing of the second deck in right field to put Cincinnati ahead in the fourth.
A hit batter and a walk by R.A. Dickey set up Ryan Hanigan’s run-scoring double in the Reds fifth and pitcher Mat Latos hit a sacrifice fly for his first RBI of the year, matching his total from last season.
A passed ball by Mike Nickeas let Hanigan score for a 4-0 lead. Nickeas wasn’t the only catcher having trouble handling Dickey — at one point, Johnson warmed him up in-between innings and missed three straight pitches.
Duda hit a two-out, two-run double in the Mets fifth. Right fielder Jay Bruce took an odd path, cutting over into the alley and watching the ball sail past him. When the inning ended, Bruce and Reds coach Billy Hatcher briefly discussed the play outside the dugout.
Pinch-hitter Mike Baxter’s sacrifice fly drew the Mets to 4-3 in the sixth.
NOTES: Wright is the first full-time player to be hitting at least .411 through May 17 or later since Chipper Jones was batting .412 on June 12, 2008, STATS LLC said. … 2B Murphy made a nifty play, ranging far into foul territory for an over-the-shoulder catch on Bruce’s twisty popup, then wheeling to throw out Votto at the plate. … Cincinnati RHP Bronson Arroyo will start vs. LHP Andy Pettitte in the Reds’ first game at the new Yankee Stadium. … The Mets begin interleague play at Toronto on Friday night, with LHP Jonathon Niese facing LHP Ricky Romero. Mets players and staff wore hockey jerseys for their trip to Canada.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)