CINCINNATI — For the New York Mets, it was a throwback game.
They hit into three double plays. Took a pair of third strikes with the bases loaded. Misplayed a pair of balls in the outfield. Gave up walks and had a passed ball.
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And, they lost.
Right-hander Josh Fogg extended his mid-season resurgence by getting New York to hit into three double plays, and Joey Votto drove in three runs Saturday night, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-2 victory over the Mets.
After winning 10 in a row and moving into a first-place tie with Philadelphia in the NL East, the Mets have dropped two in a row. In this one, their clutch hitting, their defense and their bullpen all let them down.
Votto had a run-scoring single off Oliver Perez (6-6), then broke the game open with a two-run triple in the seventh. Right fielder Fernando Tatis dived but couldn't come up with the liner, allowing Votto to get his first triple.
”It took me, what, four months?“ said Votto, who had everything except the triple. ”But I finally got my cycle.“
Ken Griffey Jr. also had a run-scoring double off Perez, who gave up three runs in six innings. Perez walked three batters, and two of them scored.
”It was one of those days where sometimes you don't feel good,“ Perez said. ”You have to do your best and keep your team in the game.“
The Mets remained a game behind Philadelphia, which lost to Florida 9-5 earlier in the day. The teams will play a three-game series at Shea Stadium beginning on Tuesday.
Fogg (2-2) escaped serious damage by inducing three double plays in his six innings — just what he needed to get his first victory since April 9, when he was in his first stint in the rotation. He has overcome a demotion to the bullpen and a stint on the disabled list before settling in.
”The defense played great behind me,“ said Fogg, who gave up eight hits in six innings but only two runs. ”I got into a little trouble here and there, and those guys bailed me out.“
He wasn't the only one who gave the Mets fits with runners on base. New York loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but David Wright — who was 3-for-3 with a homer at that point — and Carlos Beltran took full-count third strikes from Mike Lincoln. Those two pitches became a turning point.
Wright was frozen by a curve for strike three.
Larkin honored before game
Barry Larkin left open the possibility of returning to the Cincinnati Reds in some capacity Saturday, shortly before his induction with three others into the team's Hall of Fame.
The former Reds shortstop is a special assistant to Washington Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden. Larkin has hoped for a chance to work with the Reds' front office in some capacity since he retired as a player after the 2004 season.
”There's been a lot of thought about it,“ Larkin said. ”It's just that the opportunity hasn't presented itself yet. My contract (with Washington) is up at the end of the year, so I'll be a free agent.“
Former outfielder Cesar Geronimo, pitcher Joey Jay and team executive Garry Herrmann also were inducted into the team's Hall of Fame. They were honored on the field before a game against the New York Mets.
Reds put Burton on DL
Jared Burton, who developed into one of the Reds' most dependable setup relievers, went on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained muscle in his right side.
The Reds called up right-hander Todd Coffey to take Burton's spot in the bullpen.
The right-handed Burton was 4-1 with a 2.23 earned run average in 43 games, often as the setup man for closer Francisco Cordero. He pulled a muscle in his side on a pitch July 6, and has been bothered by it since then.