Reds 6, Mets 3

Todd Frazier had a big audience – and a big night in front of

it.

The former Rutgers player homered twice in front of about three

dozen friends and family members, Brandon Phillips hit a tying

single off Jon Rauch in the eighth inning and the Cincinnati Reds

beat the New York Mets 6-3 on Wednesday night.

”I gave him the lineup card,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

”You always want to do well in front of your parents, his fiancee,

and the homies, and everybody. I try to play guys, you know, in

front of their home people because they tend to play better and

concentrate better.”

Frazier had another reason.

”It’s New York. It’s the best city in the world,” he said.

”Yeah, it’s totally different with the family there and it’s New

York City, so it’s just a great atmosphere always. It’s just a good

place to play.”

Pinch-hitter Jay Bruce drove in the go-ahead run on a sacrifice

fly one out after the Reds put together three straight hits off

Rauch (3-2), ending with Phillips’ single. Rauch retired Chris

Heisey on a popup before left-hander Tim Byrdak came on to face the

lefty-hitting Bruce. After that, D.J. Carrasco entered and gave up

Frazier’s second homer on his first pitch.

Carrasco was designated for assignment after the game.

The night before, Carrasco hit Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun with a

pitch, prompting manager Terry Collins to take David Wright out of

a game in which the Mets trailed 8-0, to avoid retaliation. Wright

and his manager had an animated discussion in the dugout about it,

but said everything was fine on Wednesday.

Jose Arredondo (3-1) pitched a perfect inning of relief for the

Reds. Sean Marshall gave up a hit in the ninth but finished for his

seventh save.

”We’re in New York and Yogi Berra said if you ain’t got a

bullpen, you ain’t got nothing,” Baker said. ”Yogi was right, big

time. You’ve got to have a bullpen.”

Mike Leake struck out a season-high five in six innings for the

Reds.

Leake singled with two outs in the third and motored home on

Zack Cozart’s double into the left-field corner. He just beat the

relay throw from Wright, the third baseman, sliding in ahead of

Mike Nickeas’ tag. His momentum caused him to pop to his feet, and

then he stumbled and plopped gently face down on the Mets logo

behind the plate, where he remained for a beat before he stood up,

smiling.

”Yeah, I just kind of lost my balance a little bit and fell

sideways instead of going forward,” Leake said. ”We’ll see if it

makes `Not So Top 10′ or something.”

Leake remained winless in seven starts, but looked much better

than last time out, when he only lasted three innings.

”I was kind of a hole in the rotation, but it was a matter of

time where I was going to come around,” Leake said. ”I just need

to string a few together. I’m not going to put the pressure on

myself to do it, but I’m just going to go out there with the same

attitude that I had tonight.”

Ike Davis snapped an 0-for-16 skid with a go-ahead double in the

sixth inning, but the Mets’ bullpen coughed up the lead for the

ninth time in 20 chances this year, sending New York to its third

loss in four games and giving starter Johan Santana his fifth

no-decision in eight starts.

Frazier hit a solo homer off Santana in the top of the seventh

after the Mets took a 3-1 lead. Bobby Parnell came on with two outs

to strike out Cozart with a runner on second. Parnell, who hasn’t

allowed an earned run in more than eight innings, didn’t come back

out for the eighth.

Leake looked shaky early, but held the Mets to a run through six

innings until first baseman Joey Votto’s error opened the door.

After Lucas Duda’s leadoff single, Votto fielded Daniel Murphy’s

grounder and attempted to start a double play with an underhand

fling in the general direction of second base while falling down.

The ball went way into left field, and runners were safe on the

corners. Davis then hit the first pitch from his former Arizona

State teammate down the line for an RBI double.

Nickeas laid down a successful squeeze bunt and Murphy sprinted

home for a 3-1 lead. Frazier cut into that with his first homer,

then gave the Reds a cushion with his second. After striking out

his first two times up, it was a relief to have the pressure

off.

”A lot of friends and family, you know, they’ve been following

ever since I was playing when I was 12 in that Little League World

Series, so it doesn’t bother me as much,” Frazier said. ”It’s

actually fun, you know. Striking out those first two at-bats didn’t

really help, but this game’s about adjustments and that’s what you

got to do from pitch to pitch and at-bat to at-bat. It was a

special time tonight for sure.”

NOTES: Leake had two hits, giving him 31 over the last three

seasons. Only Yovani Gallardo, with 32, has more among pitchers,

according to STATS, LLC. … The Reds visited Citi Field for a

two-game series, before remaining in New York for the weekend to

play the Yankees. They’re the first team to play both New York

teams in the same trip since interleague play began. Other teams

have previously doubled up on the White Sox and Cubs, Angels and

Dodgers, and Athletics and Giants. … Wednesday was the 52nd

birthday of Cincinnati bullpen coach Porky Lopez.