NEW YORK -- Throughout his horrendous start to the season, Bronson Arroyo insisted he was fine.
He proved it on Saturday.
Arroyo pitched eight dominant innings to win a matchup of struggling pitchers and Jeff Keppinger had a career-high five hits, lifting the Cincinnati Reds over the New York Mets 7-1 for a split of their day-night doubleheader.
"The tides got to turn at some point," Arroyo said after retiring 16 of his last 17 batters. "You throw it up there enough times and they've got to hit it on the ground eventually - instead of over infielders heads."
Ken Griffey Jr. had two hits and an RBI in the nightcap, but remained stalled in his bid to become the sixth player with 600 home runs - he is homerless in 59 at-bats.
The Reds outhit the Mets in the loss, 15-12, and the win, 14-4 - but they also got pitching and defense in the nightcap. They broke open the game in the ninth thanks to two errors by the Mets and Scott Hatteberg's third RBI of the game.
That prompted angry Mets closer Billy Wagner, who entered in the ninth to get some work in, to knock over a water cooler in the dugout after he was pulled.
"Our bullpen - we just stunk," said Wagner, who was charged with three unearned runs.
Arroyo struck out the side in the first and immediately put to rest any thoughts of a repeat of his awful outing a week ago, when he gave up seven runs in the shortest start of his career - 1 1-3 innings.
The Mets loaded the bases with one out in the second but Arroyo struck out Ramon Castro, and pitcher Mike Pelfrey (2-3) flied out to right fielder Griffey, who made a basket catch on the run.
"Griffey making that play was big to get out with no runs -- I've been having trouble in the second inning all year," Arroyo said.
Griffey had an RBI single an out after Ryan Freel doubled to lead off the game. The Mets tied it in the third when David Wright hit a run-scoring single an out after Jose Reyes doubled. Griffey then had an assist when Wright was thrown out at the plate on Beltran's double to help end the rally.
The Reds took the lead in the sixth on Hatteberg's double, scoring Keppinger. Hatteberg drove in Keppinger again in the eighth with a single off Duaner Sanchez.
Baffled by his 8.63 ERA entering Saturday despite being healthy, Arroyo struck out the side again in the seventh, then fanned Reyes to start the eighth. The right-hander finished with nine strikeouts and two walks.
"He had them off balance," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He was dealing tonight. To go eight innings like he did, makes everybody feel better."
Francisco Cordero worked a perfect ninth to complete the four-hitter.
- The Mets and Reds last played a doubleheader on May 19, 1998, and the Mets won both games at Shea Stadium.
- Between games, Reds pitcher David Weathers' 8-year-old son, Ryan, took batting practice in center field.