Casey quickly made up some ground with a big game Wednesday night, though.
"You don't want to play until 11 o'clock and walk away with a loss," Casey said. "We haven't been playing too well on the road, so this was huge for us."
Griffey went 0-for-5 with a walk in his second game since hitting his 500th homer, but Casey carried the offense. He homered off Jae Seo in the first inning, then sent an 0-1 pitch from John Franco into the right-field bullpen in the 12th for his 100th career homer.
"I'm only 400 behind, so that'll take me about another 35 years. One hundred is pretty good, so I guess I can tell my kids about that," Casey said. "It's taken me 6½ years to get to 100, so you do the math."
Wily Mo Pena and D'Angelo Jimenez also connected for the Reds, who snapped New York's season-high winning streak at five games. They blew a 4-0 lead but still managed to win for only the second time in 12 road games.
With two outs in the 12th, Juan Castro doubled off Franco (1-4), bringing Casey to the plate with an open base and Griffey on deck. Mets manager Art Howe went out to the mound to talk to Franco, and they decided to go after Casey.
"I said I had decent success with him," Franco said. "Last night I pitched and got him out. Tonight I just got it a little low. I made a bad pitch."
Casey finished 5-for-6 with three singles, raising his batting average 10 points to .361.
"Unbelievable. You can't stop that guy," Reds reliever Danny Graves said. "I think he went two games without a hit, so he was due to break out sometime soon. When he's on, you can pretty much throw anything up there and you can't get him out."
Mike Matthews (2-1) pitched a hitless 11th, and Graves got three outs for his 28th save in 35 chances. John Riedling got out of a first-and-third, one-out jam in the ninth.
"We had our opportunities to put them away," Howe said. "It was our game to be had, but it slipped away from us."
Griffey did make a key defensive play to help Cincinnati.
He started a strong relay to cut down Kaz Matsui at the plate in the fifth. Matsui held up too long at second base waiting to see if Griffey could catch Piazza's shot off the center-field fence.
"With one out, unless you know he's going to catch the ball, you should go halfway," Howe said.
Jose Reyes was left at second, and Piazza wound up with a long single. Cliff Floyd followed with an RBI single, cutting it to 4-3.
Casey's homer in the first gave him 500 career RBI. He had his seventh multihomer game, three this season.
"Oh yeah, this is a common occurrence for me," Casey joked. "This is probably one of the best nights I've ever had in my career."
Pena hit his sixth home run to right-center on the first pitch of the second. Two outs later, Jimenez sent a 1-2 pitch over the right-field fence, drawing boos from the crowd of 32,423.
Reyes hit an RBI double with two outs in the third and scored on Piazza's single, cutting it to 4-2.
Gold Glove center fielder Mike Cameron made probably his best play as a Met, diving in left-center to rob Pena of extra bases in the fourth.
Reds starter Todd Van Poppel gave up eight hits in five innings and left with a 4-3 lead. But the bullpen cost him a win for the third time in his last five starts.
Seo allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings.
- Casey also got five hits on June 6, 1999, at Kansas City.
- With the Mets out of position players, RHP Steve Trachsel pinch hit in the 11th and grounded out.
- With the shift on, New York turned a 6-5-3 double play against Griffey in the third.
- Matsui snapped an 0-for-18 skid with a soft single in the fifth.
- Van Poppel has not lost in five starts since May 26 against Florida.
- Mets OF Karim Garcia went to Baltimore to seek a second opinion on his sore left wrist and could wind up on the disabled list.
- Two of New York's injured relievers, RHP Orber Moreno and RHP Scott Strickland, struggled in rehab outings for Class-A St. Lucie.
The Associated Press News Service
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