|N.Y. Mets (19-16) «||3||0||0||0||3||2||0||0||x||8||14||0|
NEW YORK -- Oliver Perez plays baseball like a kid in a school yard -- hitting, pitching, stealing bases, experimenting with different arm angles.
"He might drive you nuts every once in a while," New York manager Willie Randolph said, "but he competes, man."
The day's oddest moment came not from Perez but the Reds, who batted out of order in the ninth inning after an earlier double switch. Sorting it all out resulted in a 10-minute delay.
The Mets, who hadn't hit back-to-back home runs all season before Saturday, did it for the second straight day. Carlos Beltran and Ryan Church went deep in the fifth inning as their offense continues to show hints of finding the consistency that's been lacking much of this year.
The Mets have at least 11 hits in four of their last five games. The one exception was a 7-1 loss in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader, in which they managed just four. They had that many in a three-run first inning Sunday.
Jose Reyes led off with a single, stole second and scored on Luis Castillo's triple.
Castillo ripped a line drive to right-center between Ken Griffey Jr. and Ryan Freel. Griffey pulled up at the last second, while Freel dived unsuccessfully for the ball, which rolled all the way to the wall.
"We had a little communication problem," Freel said, "but it was also tough to read the wind out there."
Castillo felt discomfort in his left quadriceps on the triple and later left the game.
Beltran has nine hits in his last 22 at-bats, including his two-run homer in the fifth. Church followed with his drive to put the Mets up 6-0. Carlos Delgado and Brian Schneider went back-to-back in the first game of the doubleheader.
Beltran's homer was his first since April 24 and just his third of the season after hitting 33 last year.
"I don't want to say that I'm perfect, but it's getting close," said Beltran, who explained that his left leg has been weaker than his right, which has affected his hitting.
Reds shortstop Jeff Keppinger had a hit in seven straight at-bats before striking out in the eighth. He went 5-for-5 in Saturday's nightcap before adding a single and triple Sunday.
Randolph doesn't want Perez (3-3) to improvise with different arm angles, believing it messes with his rhythm. After allowing just one hit through five innings, Perez ran into trouble in the sixth. A walk, double, triple, wild pitch and three deep flyball outs resulted in the Reds pulling within 6-3 -- and meant Perez still hasn't pitched into the seventh this season.
Perez dropped down on that wild pitch.
"I was trying to change speeds," he said. "I was tired."
Sounding exasperated and amused at the same time, Randolph said, "That's Ollie."
That's Ollie also applied to Perez catching the Reds napping after he walked in the second inning - he stole second without a throw for his third career steal (all against Cincinnati). He added a bunt single in the fourth when he noticed third baseman Edwin Encarnacion playing back.
The Mets got two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Reyes' hard grounder down the third-base line went under Encarnacion's glove for a two-out double to start the rally. Damion Easley, who had replaced Castillo at second, drove him in. The Mets added another run on a David Wright single with the help of a wild pitch that moved Easley to second.
Griffey remained stalled at 597 home runs in his bid to become the sixth player with 600. He went 0-for-2 with two walks and hasn't homered since April 23.
|Players of the Game|
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|Ryan Freel, CF-LF||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.313|
|Joey Votto, 1B||5||0||0||0||0||3||3||.286|
|Ken Griffey Jr., RF||2||1||0||0||2||1||0||.254|
|Brandon Phillips, 2B||3||0||1||0||1||0||2||.284|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 3B||4||1||2||0||0||0||1||.261|
|Adam Dunn, LF||3||0||0||1||0||3||3||.214|
|David Weathers, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeff Keppinger, SS||3||1||2||1||1||1||2||.324|
|Paul Bako, C||3||0||0||0||0||2||2||.309|
|Jared Burton, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeremy Affeldt, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Corey Patterson, CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.196|
|Johnny Cueto, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Bill Bray, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|David Ross, C||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||.222|
|2B - Edwin Encarnacion (8, Perez)|
|3B - Jeff Keppinger (1, Perez)|
|SF - Adam Dunn (2)|
|SH - Johnny Cueto (3)|
|RBI - Adam Dunn (17), Jeff Keppinger (18)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jeff Keppinger (8)|
|SB - Brandon Phillips (6, 2nd base off Perez/Schneider)|
|CS - Ryan Freel (4, 2nd base by Schoeneweis/Schneider)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Bako-Keppinger|
|Johnny Cueto (L,2-4)||4.2||8||6||6||3||5||2||5.91|
|WP - Jared Burton (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Johnny Cueto 98-57, Bill Bray 15-13, Jared Burton 14-9, Jeremy Affeldt 10-7, David Weathers 22-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johnny Cueto 1-7, Bill Bray 1-0, Jared Burton 1-0, Jeremy Affeldt 1-1, David Weathers 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Johnny Cueto 24, Bill Bray 4, Jared Burton 3, Jeremy Affeldt 4, David Weathers 5|
|New York Mets|
|Jose Reyes, SS||5||2||3||0||0||1||3||.259|
|Luis Castillo, 2B||3||2||2||1||0||1||1||.245|
|Damion Easley, 2B||2||1||1||1||0||1||2||.245|
|David Wright, 3B||4||0||1||1||1||2||4||.271|
|Carlos Beltran, CF||5||2||2||3||0||1||3||.240|
|Ryan Church, RF||4||1||1||1||0||2||1||.321|
|Moises Alou, LF||4||0||1||1||0||0||0||.292|
|Carlos Delgado, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||1||1||.236|
|Brian Schneider, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.301|
|Oliver Perez, P||1||0||1||0||1||0||0||.273|
|a- Angel Pagan, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.278|
|Scott Schoeneweis, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Joe Smith, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Marlon Anderson, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.219|
|Pedro Feliciano, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-struck out for Perez in the 6th|
|b-doubled for Smith in the 8th|
|2B - Jose Reyes (8, Bray), Carlos Beltran (12, Cueto), Moises Alou (1, Cueto), Marlon Anderson (2, Weathers)|
|3B - Luis Castillo (1, Cueto)|
|HR - Carlos Beltran (3, Cueto), Ryan Church (7, Cueto)|
|RBI - Luis Castillo (8), Damion Easley (5), David Wright (31), Carlos Beltran 3 (21), Ryan Church (26), Moises Alou (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Damion Easley (1), David Wright (15), Moises Alou (1)|
|SB - Jose Reyes 2 (12, 2nd base off Cueto/Bako, 2nd base off Weathers/Ross), Oliver Perez (1, 2nd base off Cueto/Bako)|
|CS - David Wright (4, 2nd base by Cueto/Bako)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|New York Mets|
|Oliver Perez (W,3-3)||6||3||3||3||4||8||0||4.61|
|HBP - Freel (by Oliver Perez)|
|WP - Oliver Perez (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Oliver Perez 102-59, Scott Schoeneweis 28-18, Joe Smith 7-4, Pedro Feliciano 7-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Oliver Perez 3-7, Scott Schoeneweis 1-0, Pedro Feliciano 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Oliver Perez 26, Scott Schoeneweis 7, Joe Smith 1, Pedro Feliciano 4|
|Attendance - 49264|
|Game Time - 3:11|
|Temperature - 61|
|Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Rob Drake|