Chris Young on Sunday
The Mets sent Chris Young to the mound for his third start of the season in attempts to salvage at least one game from the Cincinnati Reds this season but was unable to hold a 1-0 lead that he helped produce with an RBI walk in the bottom of the second inning.
Young worked around a two out single in the top of the first to Joey Votto but got Brandon Phillips to fly out. After a leadoff walk in the second and a stolen base by Miguel Cairo but again got out of the inning unscathed.
As for the Mets offensively in the bottom of the second, Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy and Josh Thole hit three singles in a row after a Lucas Duda strikeout by Johnny Cueto. Andres Torres flew out followed by a bases loaded walk by Young to put the Mets up 1-0. Kirk Nieuwenhuis struck out with the bases loaded to kill the Mets’ rally.
Neither side got a runner past first in the third and fourth innings, but the top of the fifth saw the Reds score three times. Young got the first two batters of the inning but allowed a double to leadoff man Zack Cozart followed by a single off the bat of former Met Wilson Valdez to score the leadoff man. Votto was walked intentionally to set up the force play, but Phillips singled to right field to bring home Valdez, then Lucas Duda threw the ball into the Reds’ dugout to allow Votto to score from first and put Cincinnati up by a pair.
Nieuwenhuis struck a one out single in the bottom half of the inning but again another Mets chance was negated two batters later when David Wright grounded into a 5-4-3 double play. The Mets grounded into another double play in the sixth when Davis erased Duda on a 4-6-3 DP.
Jon Rauch came on to pick the eighth and got in and out of trouble after Daily Stache all-time favorite Willie Harris singled and stole second base. Meanwhile the Mets got to Jose Arrendondo a bit in the bottom half of the inning as Wright and Duda reached with two down. Sean Marshall came on to face Davis, but Terry Collins replaced him with Scott Hairston who grounded out to end the inning.
Frank Francisco pitched the ninth and allowed another hit to Votto with two down, but got Phillips to ground out to send it to the bottom of the ninth against Marshall. Murphy grounded out, Thole popped up and Torres struck out to end the ball game and give the Reds the series sweep.
Earning the win was Cueto who improves to 8-3 on the year heading into his next scheduled start on Saturday at home against the Minnesota Twins. Suffering the loss was Young (1-1) who will also be on the bump again on Saturday when he faces the Yankees.
The Mets get right back to action at Citi Field tomorrow when they take on the Baltimore Orioles as RA Dickey looks to start a new scoreless innings streak after losing his Mets’ record in the ninth inning of his last start against Tampa Bay.
Game Ball: Chris Young, despite allowing three runs (two earned) he pitched well in seven innings of work. He even drove in the lone Mets’ run, one of only five they scored this entire series against Cincinnati.