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Saturday, Apr. 14 1:10pm ET
No Larkin, no Griffey, no sweat for Reds

NEW YORK (AP) – Chris Reitsma did just enough to help the Cincinnati Reds set a consecutive scoring streak record and beat the New York Mets.

Chris Rietsma
Rookie Chris Rietsma earned his second win of the season by pitching 7 1/3 scoreless innings.

Reitsma pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings and singled to help set up the only run, and the Reds set the modern NL record by scoring in their 175th straight game and beat the Mets 1-0 Saturday.

"We needed every one of those zeros today," manager Bob Boone said.

Reitsma (2-0) has made a remarkable comeback since missing most of the 1997 and 1998 seasons after twice breaking his pitching elbow while throwing pitches. He has gone from Class-A ball to the majors in less than a year.

"The second time I thought that was it," Reitsma said. "I knew I had the ability to pitch in the major leagues, it was just a matter of staying healthy."

He's done that and more for the Reds since coming over from Boston last August in a deal for Dante Bichette.

Reitsma, who hadn't pitched above Double-A before this season, was not fazed at all in his third career start, pitching in front of a sellout crowd against the NL champions. He allowed five hits and three walks, improving his ERA to 1.40.

"You can have poise when you have command like he does and that changeup like he does," Boone said. "It's easier to have poise when you have that in your arsenal."

Al Leiter (0-2), who shut out the Reds on Oct. 4, 1999 in a one-game wild-card playoff, nearly ended Cincinnati's streak in a tie for the modern NL record with the 1992-93 Philadelphia Phillies.

Philadelphia set the overall NL mark at 181 from 1893-95. The 1931-33 New York Yankees hold the major league record for consecutive games without being shut out at 308.

But one run was enough against the Mets' missing offense. New York, which entered last in the league in scoring, has just three runs in its last 38 innings.

"We did not have a lot of good at-bats," manager Bobby Valentine said.

The Mets wasted a bases-loaded, one-out chance in the eighth. Danny Graves relieved Reitsma and got Mike Piazza to hit into an inning-ending double play. Piazza could only shake his head in frustration after another squandered opportunity.

"That's the game," he said. "There's no excuse. I could have picked the team up there and I didn't."

The Mets couldn't score with the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth inning Friday and lost 3-2. Graves, who earned his third save Saturday, got out of that jam too.

"I enjoy the pressure situations, but one of these days the ball is going to find a hole and I'm going to be a goat," Graves said.

The Reds, playing without injured Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Larkin, used Reitsma's first career hit and a wild pitch by Leiter set up the only run.

Reitsma led off the sixth with a flare to right field for his first hit in five career at-bats. After a fielder's choice and a single by Pokey Reese, Leiter got crossed up with Piazza and threw a wild pitch.

"We had two sets of signs and I thought he changed the sign," Leiter said. "As it happened, it cost us a run and we didn't get any runs."

That proved costly when Dmitri Young hit a hard grounder to the left of third baseman Robin Ventura, leaving the Mets with only a play at first and giving the Reds a 1-0 lead.

"We're not a team that is going to hit a bunch of homers, especially without Junior," Graves said. "We need to manufacture some runs."

The Mets also missed an ideal scoring opportunity in the sixth. Joe McEwing led off with a walk, stole second and went to third on catcher Kelly Stinnett's throwing error. Edgardo Alfonzo, who is 5-for-42 this season, struck out, and Reese threw out McEwing at the plate on Ventura's grounder to second.

After a single by Piazza, Todd Zeile grounded out, prompting boos from the crowd.

Leiter, making his first start at Shea Stadium since losing Game 5 of the World Series to the Yankees, allowed one run and six hits in eight innings, He struck out eight and walked none.

Game notes
The Reds posted their first 1-0 win since Aug. 19, 1999, against Pittsburgh. ... It was the Mets' first 1-0 loss since last July 23, at Atlanta. ... Larkin missed the game with a strained left wrist and isn't expected back until Tuesday at the earliest. ... The Mets are 4-7 on the season despite winning four of six against nemesis Atlanta. New York has lost all five meetings to Montreal and Cincinnati.

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