By MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Chris Heisey hit a go-ahead, three-run homer
just moments after making a diving catch and the Cincinnati Reds
held off the New York Mets 6-5 on Monday night in the opener of
their season-ending series.
Jose Reyes had three hits for the Mets to take over the NL
batting lead, but his baserunning blunder in the eighth inning cost
them a chance to tie the game.
The speedy Reyes lined an RBI double into the right-field corner
to cut it to 6-5, a ball that he normally would turn into a triple
without much trouble. But the Mets have instructed Reyes to take it
easy on his legs after hamstring injuries landed him on the
disabled list twice during the summer, so he cruised toward second
base at half-speed and appeared caught in-between.
Perhaps expecting a throw to the plate that would allow him to
take third, Reyes took a wide turn around second _ much too far.
The Reds threw behind him and he was easily tagged out.
Ruben Tejada followed with a single, then was caught stealing on
a close play to end the inning.
Reyes finished 3 for 4 with a sacrifice fly and a stolen base to
raise his average to .334, one point ahead of Milwaukee slugger
Ryan Braun, who did not start against Pittsburgh.
No member of the Mets _ or Brewers, for that matter _ has won a
A sparse crowd, announced at 28,651, cheered when the big video
board in center field showed that Reyes’ second hit had tied him
with Braun at .333.
Mets manager Terry Collins said he might sit Reyes in the season
finale Wednesday afternoon, depending on how he feels. However,
Collins said the batting race could factor into his decision. Reyes
can become a free agent after the season and might be playing his
final games with the Mets, who signed him when he was 16.
New York was leading 4-3 in the sixth and had two runners on
when David Wright hit a two-out drive to the gap in left-center.
Heisey raced over and stretched out for a splendid, backhand grab.
Joey Votto and Jay Bruce singled off Tim Byrdak (2-1) in the
seventh before Heisey hit the first pitch from Josh Stinson over
the 16-foot fence in left field. Heisey, who has 18 home runs in
271 at-bats this year, finished with three hits.
Logan Ondrusek (5-5) got one out for the win and Francisco
Cordero escaped a jam in the ninth to earn his 36th save. After his
first two batters reached safely, Cordero threw out a runner at
third on a bunt and then got Josh Thole to ground into a
game-ending double play.
Reds starter Homer Bailey allowed four runs and nine hits in
five innings. He was tagged for 12 hits and a career-high nine runs
over four-plus innings in a 10-9 loss to the Mets in late July,
when New York completed a four-game sweep at Cincinnati.
NOTES: RHP Bronson Arroyo (9-12) starts Tuesday night for
Cincinnati. Coming off his first complete game of the season, he
needs nine innings pitched to reach 200 for the seventh straight
year. Arroyo, who has yielded a club-record 44 homers, is 7-2 with
a 2.65 ERA in his last 11 starts against the Mets. Three of his 12
career complete games have come in New York, and he is 2-0 with a
0.53 ERA at Citi Field. … Heisey started in CF in place of Drew
Stubbs, who was rested. Stubbs entered on defense in the seventh,
shifting Heisey to left. Reds manager Dusty Baker said Stubbs will
play the final two games. … Baker was interested to hear that the
Mets are considering changes to the dimensions at spacious Citi
Field for next year. “I thought it was too big in the first
place,” he said. … OF Brandon Nimmo, the Mets’ first-round draft
pick this year, was at Citi Field with his family. He took batting
practice on the field wearing No. 17 and confidently answered
questions from reporters at the podium in the interview room.
“Jose Reyes, he said hi to me. I felt pretty cool about that,”
Nimmo said. The 18-year-old Nimmo, from Wyoming, wants to play
winter ball in the Dominican Republic next month. Collins said he
hopes to watch Nimmo and ace Johan Santana (shoulder surgery) when
he heads down to the instructional league in Florida on Saturday.
… The Mets were missing their entire starting outfield because of
injuries or illness. LF Jason Bay, sidelined with a sinus
infection, went to the doctor for some new medication, Collins
said. … The Mets are 3-10 in their last 13 home games.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)