New York Mets
WHAT IT MEANS: Daniel Murphy delivered a tiebreaking double off reliever Logan Ondrusek and Jason Bay followed with an RBI double -- his first two-bagger since May 19 -- to cap a four-run seventh inning that lifted the Mets to a 4-2 victory against the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night. The Mets returned to .500 at 51-51.
ZEROES: R.A. Dickey and Mike Leake had a scoreless duel into the sixth, when Brandon Phillips’ double scored ex-Met Miguel Cairo. Phillips now has 32 RBIs in 33 career games against the Mets, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
The Mets stormed back a half-inning later. Jose Reyes delivered a one-out single, moved to third on a bloop single by Justin Turner to right field, and -- after left-hander Bill Bray replaced Leake -- scored on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Beltran.
Turner had been deprived of driving in Reyes himself because first base ump Laz Diaz ruled Turner’s shot to the right-field corner was foul. Replays suggested otherwise, but Reyes nonetheless went first-to-third when Turner followed with the bloop over Phillips’ head at second base.
With the score tied at 1 after Beltran’s sacrifice fly, David Wright singled for his eighth hit in four games since returning from the disabled list. Murphy then had a two-run double, and Bay followed with a double that drove in Murphy and gave the Mets a 4-1 lead. Bay had not produced an extra-base hit since his two-homer game July 5 at Dodger Stadium.
Dickey was pulled after surrendering a two-out, run-scoring single to Drew Stubbs in the seventh that moved Cincinnati within 4-2, after Murphy cut off the throw to the plate. The knuckleballer ultimately was charged with two runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings, although Tim Byrdak had to get him off the hook from additional damage.
After Pedro Beato walked Cairo, Byrdak entered and struck out Jay Bruce to strand two runners. Byrdak, with the Houston Astros last season, had served up the game-deciding homer to Bruce that clinched the NL Central title for Cincinnati.
Dickey earned his first win since June 28, after three no-decisions and a loss.
New York Mets
THAT’S A RELIEF: A day after Bobby Parnell took the loss in Miami, surrendering a pair of runs, Terry Collins again turned to him in the eighth, this time trying to protect a 4-2 lead. Parnell struck out Phillips and walked Fred Lewis, setting up a matchup with reigning MVP Joey Votto as a pinch-hitter and as the tying run. Votto, who had been given a day off by Reds manager Dusty Baker, flied out to left field. Parnell then completed the scoreless frame by retiring Rutgers product Todd Frazier, a member of the 1998 Toms River Little League World Series winners, on a groundout to second base.
Jason Isringhausen then notched his 296th career save. The first out of the ninth came when Murphy knocked down Paul Janish's grounder while on the ground with his bare hand and then dove for the base in time. But Cincinnati loaded the bases, beginning with Wright's third error in four games since returning from the DL. Phillips then struck out to end the game.
WHAT’S NEXT: Jon Niese (9-8, 3.76 ERA) opposes right-hander Johnny Cueto (6-3, 1.98) in Game 2 of the four-game series, on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m.