NEW YORK — Bronson Arroyo was standing on third base laughing about his blooped bunt that landed beyond the pitcher's mound for a base hit earlier in the seventh inning.
It's easy to feel giddy when almost everything is on target.
Arroyo outpitched Jonathon Niese in a crisp duel, and the Cincinnati Reds used two more long balls and a few fine plays in the field to beat the New York Mets 3-1 on Wednesday night to win the three-game series.
Arroyo (9-4) said he told Mets third baseman David Wright that he "was working on that all spring," in reference to the wacky bunt single. "Sometimes the ball bounces your way."
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Thanks to a sinker that was moving so much he had to start his pitches farther out of the strike zone than usual, the ball was bouncing Arroyo's way on offense and defense.
Chris Heisey made the biggest play behind Arroyo, a long running catch in Citi Field's spacious right-center field with a runner on second base to end the sixth inning. Heisey then hit a tiebreaking shot in the seventh to help Arroyo improve to 7-2 with a 3.31 ERA for his career against the Mets.
"I thought the ball he hit to right-center was a big play by them," Mets Manager Jerry Manuel said of Jason Bay's drive. "It may be the most important play in the game."
Brandon Phillips homered in the third and had an RBI double in the seventh inning for the Reds, who earned their fifth win in seven games on an 11-game road trip. The victory also gave Cincinnati the season series over New York — 4-2 — for the first time since 2001.
Arroyo and Niese (6-3) both made quick work of the opponents' potent lineups on another sweltering night in New York — although at 87 degrees for first pitch, it was 9 degrees cooler than Tuesday night.
Angel Pagan hit Arroyo's seventh pitch of the game for the Mets' run, and Cincinnati only had Phillips' homer before Heisey connected with an out in the seventh for their second hit.
Drew Stubbs singled after Heisey hit the Reds' NL-leading 106th homer. One out later, Arroyo bunted the blooper that dropped in between the mound and second base for a single. Then Phillips made it 3-1 with a ground-rule double to right.
Arroyo made the lead hold up in his second straight stellar start. He pitched six scoreless innings against the Cubs in his last outing. In this one he gave up seven hits and a run without walking a batter over eight innings.
"Other than that home run to Angel Pagan, he was throwing quality strike after quality strike," Reds Manager Dusty Baker said. "He kept them off-balance."
Francisco Cordero gave up Ike Davis' leadoff double and a walk in the ninth before finishing for his 24th save in 29 chances to complete Cincinnati's second victory in three games in New York and end the 2-hour, 25-minute contest.
■ Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez missed his third straight game due to a sore left knee. Hernandez could return for the upcoming series against the Phillies.
"He's available in an emergency or the eighth, ninth innings possibly," Reds Manager Dusty Baker told MLB.com. "He's progressing and getting better every day."
■ Reds left-hander Matt Maloney will start Sunday against the Phillies to end the first half of the season.
■ Baker said right-hander Edinson Volquez (elbow reconstruction surgery last August) needs one more rehab start before joining the team.
■ Reds pitching prospect Aroldis Chapman gave up a run in two-thirds of an inning out of the bullpen Wednesday night for Triple-A Louisville. He gave up one hit and two walks and struck out two.
The Cuban left-hander is 5-6 with a 4.38 ERA. He's given up six runs in 81⁄3 innings out of the bullpen.