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Cincinnati at New York

Scoreboard
Cincinnati (37-27) «300100000480
N.Y. Mets (35-31)100000000160

Reds beat Mets for fifth win in row

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Homer Bailey was at his best with runners on all around him.

Bailey pitched out of trouble for eight innings, Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer and the Cincinnati Reds beat the New York Mets 4-1 on Saturday night for their fifth straight victory.

"Early on I was a little off and once I kind of got loose then everything started flowing pretty good," Bailey said.

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Ryan Ludwick added an RBI single to help the NL Central leaders move a season-best 10 games over .500 at 37-27.

Bailey (5-4) worked his way through several early jams and took advantage of the ample dimensions at Citi Field. Though the fences were brought in before this season, David Wright hit two of four Mets drives that were caught within steps of the wall.

"Homer was outstanding," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He was dealing tonight. He's been pitching well. He got roughed up I think a couple starts before this, but other than that he's been very reliable."

One night after Joey Votto and Wright were both hit by pitches, this time it was Bruce and Mets cleanup batter Lucas Duda. But again, no trouble ensued.

Bailey was hit hard by the Mets twice last year in his only previous outings against them. This time he allowed six hits and one walk while striking out three to improve to 4-1 in his last six starts.

Aroldis Chapman tossed a hitless ninth for his eighth save.

New York starter Jonathon Niese (4-3) made one big mistake to Bruce during seven otherwise effective innings. He struck out seven and walked one but lost for the first time in six starts at home this season.

The left-hander was 2-0 with a 1.75 ERA in his previous four outings overall and had not allowed an earned run in 13 innings this month before Bruce connected in the first.

"I don't regret throwing the pitch. I regret hanging it on the inside part of the plate," Niese said. "Hindsight's 20-20. I probably should have thrown a fastball up and in and been done with it. Maybe he would have swung through it, maybe not. But that's baseball. It's one pitch, one mistake, cost me the game."

Zack Cozart opened the game with a single and Wilson Valdez followed with a bunt single. Niese struck out Votto looking and was one strike from escaping unscathed when he dropped down almost sidearm for an 0-2 breaking ball that he wanted down and away against Bruce.

The pitch hung right over the middle of the plate, however, and Bruce hammered it deep into the right-field stands for his team-leading 15th homer.

"He made a mistake with it. I didn't miss it," Bruce said. "Other than that, he did really well."

It was Bruce's second homer in two nights at Citi Field. The first one was an inside-the-park shot Friday.

"I'll take `em both, that's for sure. But it's definitely nicer to trot around," Bruce said. "But at the end of the day it's the same result, so however you can get `em you've got to get `em."

Bruce's opposite-field drive Friday night left Mets outfielder Jason Bay with his second concussion in two calendar years after he crashed into the wall trying to make a difficult catch. The oft-injured Bay was placed on baseball's seven-day disabled list for concussions Saturday, and manager Terry Collins said he expects the left fielder to be sidelined longer.

Bay had just recently returned to the lineup after missing six weeks with a broken rib.

Consecutive doubles by Daniel Murphy and Wright put the Mets on the board in the bottom of the first, but Bailey limited the damage. New York put runners at the corners with nobody out the next inning and failed to score.

Bailey also wiggled out of a jam with two on in the third when he retired Ike Davis on a deep fly and struck out Scott Hairston.

That began a string of eight straight outs for the right-hander before the Mets put their first two batters on in the sixth. Once again, Bailey held firm and retired three in a row to preserve a three-run cushion.

"He dialed it up some," Baker said. "His fastball was 90, 91 [mph] and then with runners on base it was 93, 94 [mph]. That's what the good ones do."

Bruce was hit by a pitch to start the fourth and scored on Ludwick's single.

Notes

  • Cincinnati goes for a three-game sweep Sunday with ace Johnny Cueto (7-3, 2.46 ERA) on the mound against RHP Chris Young (1-0, 3.38).
  • Reds 2B Brandon Phillips, who had homered in a career-best three consecutive games (nine RBI), went 1 for 4 with a single. Phillips wore a microphone during the game for the Fox broadcast.
  • OF Chris Heisey missed his second straight game with a mild left groin strain. Baker said Heisey definitely needed another day, maybe more.
  • 3B Scott Rolen (strained left shoulder) was scheduled to complete a two-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville on Saturday night and rejoin the Reds for Monday night's game in Cleveland. Baker said the timeline is not as definitive for LHP Bill Bray (strained left groin), also rehabbing at Louisville.
  • Cincinnati and Miami are the only teams to use only five starting pitchers this season.
 
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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Homer Bailey gets himself in a few jams, but manages to work his way out of the trouble for the Reds. (Getty Images)
Homer Bailey gets himself in a few jams, but manages to work his way out of the trouble for the Reds. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

J. Bruce
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Cincinnati

H. Bailey
IP 8.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 1
K 3
 
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Zack Cozart, SS5110023 .257
Wilson Valdez, CF4110001 .227
Joey Votto, 1B3010122 .359
Brandon Phillips, 2B4010003 .289
Jay Bruce, RF3213022 .253
Todd Frazier, 3B3010110 .278
Ryan Ludwick, LF4011001 .217
Devin Mesoraco, C4010002 .205
Homer Bailey, P2000012 .154
   a- Willie Harris, PH1000010 .108
    Aroldis Chapman, P0000000 .000
Totals3348429  
a-struck out for Bailey in the 9th
Batting
HR - Jay Bruce (15, Niese)
SH - Homer Bailey (2)
RBI - Jay Bruce 3 (44), Ryan Ludwick (30)
2-OUT RBI - Jay Bruce 3 (11)
Team LOB - 6
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Homer Bailey (W,5-4) 8611130 4.03
Aroldis Chapman (S,8) 1000110 1.06
HBP - Duda (by Homer Bailey)
Pitches-Strikes - Homer Bailey 103-67, Aroldis Chapman 21-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Homer Bailey 8-13
Batters Faced - Homer Bailey 32, Aroldis Chapman 4
New York Mets
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF4000022 .291
Daniel Murphy, 2B4110000 .275
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
    Miguel Batista, P0000000 .000
David Wright, 3B3011100 .357
Lucas Duda, RF3010001 .261
Ike Davis, 1B4010003 .192
Scott Hairston, LF4010014 .282
Josh Thole, C3010001 .262
   a- Vinny Rottino, PH1000010 .200
Omar Quintanilla, SS3000004 .288
   b- Andres Torres, PH0000100 .220
Jonathon Niese, P2000002 .176
   c- Jordany Valdespin, PH-2B2000001 .178
Totals3316124  
a-struck out for Thole in the 9th
b-walked for Quintanilla in the 9th
c-flied out for Niese in the 7th
Batting
2B - Daniel Murphy (17, Bailey), David Wright (22, Bailey), Scott Hairston (9, Bailey)
RBI - David Wright (37)
SB - Daniel Murphy (5, 3rd base off Bailey/Mesoraco)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Quintanilla-Valdespin-Davis
New York Mets
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jonathon Niese (L,4-3) 7644171 3.82
Tim Byrdak 0.1200010 3.38
Miguel Batista 1.2000110 3.78
HBP - Bruce (by Jonathon Niese)
Pitches-Strikes - Jonathon Niese 113-77, Tim Byrdak 10-6, Miguel Batista 20-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jonathon Niese 7-7, Miguel Batista 1-2
Batters Faced - Jonathon Niese 29, Tim Byrdak 3, Miguel Batista 5
Game Information
Attendance - 27988
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Victor Carapazza, Second Base - James Hoye, Third Base - Jim Joyce