Mets miss the big hit, get swept by Reds

Chris Young found plenty to like about his performance – seven

pain-free innings against a first-place team.

Still, his first major league loss since 2009 left him

disappointed

”Ultimately, it wasn’t enough,” he said.

Brandon Phillips hit a tiebreaking single and made a

between-the-legs flip to start a flashy double play, leading Johnny

Cueto and the Cincinnati Reds over the New York Mets 3-1 Sunday for

their sixth straight win.

The NL Central leaders completed their first three-game sweep in

New York since 2001 and matched their longest winning streak of the

season. The Reds also finished 6-2 this year in visits to Citi

Field and Yankee Stadium.

The Mets lost their fourth in a row at home. They were outscored

14-5 in the series, right after sweeping pitching-rich Tampa Bay

and outscoring the Rays 29-9.

”We’re sputtering a little bit offensively,” David Wright

said. ”Our starting pitching hasn’t been bad. We just haven’t been

able to get them any runs.”

Cueto (8-3) struck out a season-high eight in seven innings. He

also doubled for the first extra-base hit of his career.

The only run against Cueto came when he issued a bases-loaded

walk to Young – at 6-foot-10, the Mets starter has a strike zone as

large as anyone in the majors.

Young (1-1) gave up two earned runs in seven innings. His

four-game winning streak, which began in 2010 and was prolonged by

a series of injuries, came to an end.

”It’s a good test for my shoulder,” he said. ”When I step

back and look at things, I’m 13 months out of surgery and to be at

this point … is good.”

Sean Marshall got four outs for his ninth save in 10

chances.

Phillips’ single capped a three-run rally in the fifth, helped

by right fielder Lucas Duda’s wild throw. There was plenty of

wildlife on the field, too – a squirrel scampered into the Reds’

dugout in the ninth, and several pigeons spent part of the game

wandering around the infield dirt.

It was 3-1 in the sixth when Duda led off with a single and Ike

Davis followed with a hard grounder up the middle that Phillips

backhanded. While in full stride, the three-time Gold Glove second

baseman tossed the ball with his bare hand between his legs to

shortstop Zack Cozart, who made the DP relay. Phillips broke into a

big smile after his latest highlight-reel play.

Davis, whose dad, Ron, was a longtime pitcher in the majors,

scored New York’s only run when Young walked with two outs in

second.

Cueto had been 0-3 lifetime against the Mets and had

consistently been hit hard by them. He allowed six hits and walked

one.

Cueto had gone 216 at-bats at the plate with only singles until

he crept up in the batter’s box and led off with an opposite-field

drive that bounced over the right-field wall in the third. He was

left stranded and then in the bottom of the inning, he threw one

pitch and needed a break because he felt dizzy.

Reds manager Dusty Baker and a trainer went to Cueto and

eventually a cup was brought to give the right-hander a drink.

Cozart doubled with two outs in the fifth and scored the tying

run on a single by Wilson Valdez. Joey Votto was intentionally

walked and Phillips hit an RBI single, with another run scoring

when Duda’s throw to third bounced into the stands for an

error.

NOTES: A day after the Mets put LF Jason Bay on the 7-day

disabled list for concussions, manager Terry Collins said it was

too early to predict his future. ”I’m really worried about the

severity of this injury,” Collins said. ”There’s always the

possibility that he doesn’t bounce back.” … Two-time Super Bowl

MVP Eli Manning threw out the first ball as part of a promotion to

celebrate Father’s Day. ”I’d like to get up on the mound, toe the

rubber, whip it in there,” said the Giants QB and former high

school 2B. Instead, clutching 15-month-old daughter, Ava, in his

left arm, he lobbed a toss to Wright from the grass. Manning said

he took a few warmups in the bullpen during his first trip to Citi

Field. Asked whether he preferred the Mets or Yankees, he smartly

answered: ”I’m a New York fan.” … Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey

(10-1, 2.20 ERA) starts for the Mets on Monday night at home

against Baltimore’s Jake Arrieta.