By JOE KAY   AP Baseball Writer
CINCINNATI (AP) _ Jason Pridie put New York ahead with a two-run
double, and the Mets took advantage of one of Cincinnati’s worst
defensive performances of the season, beating the Reds 8-6 on

The Mets scored six unearned runs off Johnny Cueto (6-4) with
the help of three errors, matching the Reds’ high for a game.
Jonathon Niese (10-8) went five innings for the win, which moved
the Mets back above .500 at 52-51.

The Reds traded left fielder Jonny Gomes to Washington for two
minor leaguers shortly before the start of the game.

The Reds have one of the NL’s best defenses, but repeatedly
kicked the ball around in an all-around ragged showing. Cincinnati
fell three games under .500, matching its season low.

David Wright continued his hitting surge since returning from a
stress fracture in his lower back. The cleanup hitter had two more
hits and drove in a run, improving to 10 for 24 with seven RBIs in
his five games back.

Outfielder Carlos Beltran spent another day waiting to see if
the Mets will trade him. He had an RBI single, walked, reached on
an error and scored three times.

Niese gave up five runs in five innings, including Joey Votto’s
two-run homer that put the Reds ahead 5-4. Tim Byrdak fanned Jay
Bruce to end it, getting his first save since 2007 with Detroit.
Gomes was supposed to start in left field _ he’s 3 for 7 career
with a homer off Niese _ but was scratched when the trade was
completed shortly before the start. The Reds gave away Gomes
bobbleheads three days earlier.

For the first three innings, the Reds beat themselves up. In one
moment that summed it up, Jay Bruce hit a foul ball that bounced up
and smacked him on the left side of the helmet.

A rested MVP provided their only shining moment.
Votto got a day out of the lineup in the series opener because
he looked sluggish. His two-run homer _ his first since the
All-Star break _ put the Reds up 5-4 in the fifth.

Third baseman Miguel Cairo’s fielding error _ Cincinnati’s third
overall _ helped the Mets put two runners aboard in the sixth.
Pridie’s two-run double ended Cueto’s performance. Forced to throw
110 pitches because of the inning-extending errors, Cueto had his
streak of 11 straight quality starts snapped.

Cueto’s ERA actually improved from 1.98 to 1.88 because all the
runs were all unearned.

Notes: Beltran said before the game that he has mixed feelings
about the possibility of being traded to a contending team. “If
you look at it that way, yeah, it’s exciting,” he said. “At the
same time, it’s a little sad. I’ve been here seven years, and I’ve
made a lot of friends. It’s hard to let go of seven years just like
that.” … OF Angel Pagan had a pinch-hit single in the seventh.
… The Reds got minor league LH Chris Manno and OF Bill Rhinehart
for Gomes. … The Reds called up 1B/LF Yonder Alonso to take
Gomes’ place. He had a pinch-hit double in the sixth.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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