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New York at Cincinnati

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N.Y. Mets (2-0) «2000304009102
Cincinnati (0-2)400000210791

Delgado homers, drives in four as Mets hold off Reds

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- The bases were loaded, the small crowd was on its feet screaming, and the New York Mets were getting a familiar, haunting feeling.

For a few moments, it looked like 2008 all over again.

Instead of folding, the Mets pulled off a great escape on Wednesday night, making Carlos Delgado's homer and four RBI hold up for a 9-7 win over the Cincinnati Reds that represented a clean break with their recent past.

"It wasn't pretty, it wasn't quick, but we got a win," Delgado said. "You have to find a way to win. Good teams do that."

The Mets couldn't do that last season. They failed to make the playoffs because of another September meltdown set up by their bullpen, which led the NL with 16 blown saves after the All-Star break. They acquired closers J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez in the offseason, and felt awfully good when the two of them closed out a 2-1 win in the season opener.

That one came on a raw, 37-degree afternoon that made it tough on the hitters. With temperatures in the 50s on a clear evening Wednesday, the offenses got going and the Mets found themselves sweating one out in the ninth.

Cincinnati loaded the bases with one out on a pair of walks and Delgado's error at first base. Rodriguez, who saved a record 62 games for the Angels last season, struck out Alex Gonzalez on a full-count fastball, then got Laynce Nix to fly out to the warning track in center field to end it.

Manager Jerry Manuel smiled about this close call, thinking back to all those times it didn't end so well last year.

"I ain't going through that anymore," he said. "I aged about 12 years last year."

Delgado hit a two-run homer in the first off Edinson Volquez (0-1), who had problems throwing strikes. The first baseman also drove in a run with a groundout, and singled home another during a four-run seventh inning that made it 9-4.

Brian Schneider's three-run double -- the hit skipped past stumbling right fielder Jay Bruce -- completed the seventh-inning rally and left the outcome in the hands of a bullpen that was nearly perfect in the opener.

This time, there were meltdown memories all around.

Starter Mike Pelfrey (1-0) left after five innings with a 5-4 lead. The Reds scored twice in the seventh off Pedro Feliciano, and made one final push against the Mets' closer tandem. Putz gave up a sacrifice fly by Chris Dickerson in the eighth, cutting it to 9-7, and Gonzalez improved to 2-for-2 in save chances with New York by getting that final flyout.

When the ball left the bat, Manuel thought it might be out of the park. His new closer wasn't so worried.

"That ball sounded like he hit it at the end of the bat," Rodriguez said. "I heard the sound. You know when a ball's going to leave the park."

Joey Votto had three hits for the Reds, including a three-run homer in the first off Pelfrey.

"It's frustrating, but I'm still very optimistic about our team," Votto said. "As good as their bullpen is, we made it uncomfortable for them at the end. We had some good at-bats. We just didn't get the big hit."

Volquez, the Reds' top winner and only All-Star last season, had trouble with his control in his final spring training appearance, and was wild again. He lasted only 4 1/3 innings, and needed 107 pitches to get that far. Last year, Volquez tied a major league record by giving up no more than one earned run in each of his first eight starts.

"There was a lot of action out there," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It was a weird night."

Notes

  • Gary Sheffield worked in the outfield before the game, getting ready to play eventually. Sheffield, who was Detroit's DH, was released last week and signed a one-year deal with the Mets. Manager Jerry Manuel said he could play as soon as this weekend. "We're just trying to get him into outfield shape more than anything else," Manuel said.
  • Sheffield, who has 499 career homers, is available to pinch hit. He has one career pinch-hit homer, off former Reds reliever Jeff Brantley on July 20, 1994, in Cincinnati.
  • Reds CF Willy Taveras was out of the lineup for the second game because of an illness. He pinch hit and tripled off Putz in the eighth.
  • Jerry Hairston Jr. started in center for the Reds, but left the game an inning after he fouled a pitch off his lower left leg.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Carlos Delgado smacks his first home run of the season with a two-run shot to right field. (AP)
Carlos Delgado smacks his first home run of the season with a two-run shot to right field. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

J. Votto
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
New York

C. Delgado
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
 
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4110111 .250
Daniel Murphy, LF4110100 .222
    J.J. Putz, P0000000 .000
    Francisco Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
David Wright, 3B4310112 .286
Carlos Delgado, 1B5224011 .444
Carlos Beltran, CF4122110 .375
Ryan Church, RF4110101 .375
Brian Schneider, C4023100 .250
Luis Castillo, 2B3000112 .167
Mike Pelfrey, P2000013 .000
   a- Marlon Anderson, PH1000011 .000
    Bobby Parnell, P0000000 .000
   b- Fernando Tatis, PH1000001 .000
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
    Sean Green, P0000000 .000
    Jeremy Reed, LF0000000 .000
Totals36910977  
a-struck out for Pelfrey in the 6th
b-flied out for Parnell in the 7th
Batting
2B - David Wright (1, Lincoln), Ryan Church (1, Volquez), Brian Schneider (1, Lincoln)
HR - Carlos Delgado (1, Volquez)
RBI - Carlos Delgado 4 (4), Carlos Beltran 2 (2), Brian Schneider 3 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Delgado 2 (2)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Carlos Delgado (1, Missed catch of throw), Jose Reyes (1, Throwing)
New York Mets
Mike Pelfrey (W,1-0) 5544421 7.20
Bobby Parnell (H,1) 1000210 0.00
Pedro Feliciano 0.2222110 27.00
Sean Green (H,2) 0.1100000 0.00
J.J. Putz (H,2) 1111000 4.50
Francisco Rodriguez (S,2) 1000210 0.00
IBB - A. Gonzalez by Mike Pelfrey
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Pelfrey 104-56, Bobby Parnell 21-11, Pedro Feliciano 17-11, Sean Green 4-3, J.J. Putz 14-10, Francisco Rodriguez 30-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Pelfrey 6-6, Bobby Parnell 2-0, Pedro Feliciano 1-0, Sean Green 1-0, J.J. Putz 2-1, Francisco Rodriguez 1-2
Batters Faced - Mike Pelfrey 23, Bobby Parnell 5, Pedro Feliciano 5, Sean Green 2, J.J. Putz 4, Francisco Rodriguez 6
Cincinnati Reds
Jerry Hairston Jr., CF3110010 .143
    Darnell McDonald, CF1000002 .250
    Mike Lincoln, P0000000 .000
    Jared Burton, P0000000 .000
   a- Willy Taveras, PH11100001.000
    Arthur Rhodes, P0000000 .000
Chris Dickerson, LF-CF3101110 .000
Joey Votto, 1B5233000 .500
Brandon Phillips, 2B3120201 .400
Jay Bruce, RF5111003 .222
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3000211 .000
Ramon Hernandez, C4012101 .125
Alex Gonzalez, SS3000215 .000
Edinson Volquez, P2000012 .000
    Nick Masset, P0000000 .000
   b- Laynce Nix, PH-LF2000103 .000
Totals3579795  
a-tripled for Burton in the 8th
b-walked for Masset in the 6th
Batting
2B - Brandon Phillips (1, Pelfrey)
3B - Willy Taveras (1, Putz)
HR - Joey Votto (1, Pelfrey)
SF - Chris Dickerson (1)
RBI - Chris Dickerson (1), Joey Votto 3 (3), Jay Bruce (1), Ramon Hernandez 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Ramon Hernandez (1)
CS - Joey Votto (1, Home by Pelfrey/Schneider)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - A. Gonzalez-B. Phillips-Votto
E - Alex Gonzalez (1, Misplayed grounder)
Cincinnati Reds
Edinson Volquez (L,0-1) 4.1654441 8.31
Nick Masset 1.2100010 0.00
Mike Lincoln 1344200 27.00
Jared Burton 1000110 0.00
Arthur Rhodes 1000010 0.00
IBB - Beltran by Mike Lincoln
WP - Edinson Volquez (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Edinson Volquez 106-59, Nick Masset 18-13, Mike Lincoln 28-15, Jared Burton 15-7, Arthur Rhodes 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edinson Volquez 7-2, Nick Masset 2-1, Mike Lincoln 1-2, Jared Burton 1-1, Arthur Rhodes 2-0
Batters Faced - Edinson Volquez 23, Nick Masset 5, Mike Lincoln 8, Jared Burton 4, Arthur Rhodes 3
Game Information
Attendance - 13568
Game Time - 3:54
Temperature - 54
Umpires - Home - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Tim Welke