NEW YORK (AP) - Bronson Arroyo became the latest struggling
pitcher to overwhelm the New York Mets.
Arroyo threw a four-hitter for his second career shutout, Joey
Votto and Laynce Nix homered off Fernando Nieve, and the Cincinnati
Reds defeated the sinking Mets 3-0 Friday night.
Before the game, New York traded Ryan Church to the Atlanta
Braves for Jeff Francoeur and cash in a swap of outfielders who had
fallen out of favor with their teams. The Mets then went out and
lost for the sixth time in seven games and 11th in 14, drawing
frequent and loud boos from the crowd of 39,203 at Citi Field.
With Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran on the
disabled list, more deals could be ahead if the Mets fade further
in the NL East before the July 31 deadline for trades without
waivers. Following a 28-21 start, the Mets have gone 12-24 since
May and dropped five games under .500 for the first time since an
0-5 start in 2005 under new manager Willie Randolph.
Since Beltran went on the DL on June 22, New York has scored
three runs or fewer in 13 of 18 games and been shut out five times.
The Mets have three shutout losses in their last six games,
mustering only four singles in each of them. They did not get a
runner to second base against Arroyo.
A night after losing to Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Randy Wolf,
who had been winless in seven starts, the Mets fell to Arroyo
(9-8), who had been 1-5 in seven outings since May. Arroyo struck
out five and walked none in his eighth complete game in 211 starts.
His other shutout was a three-hitter against San Francisco on Sept.
New York's only hits were a bloop single by Nieve in the third,
a bunt single by Argenis Reyes in the sixth, and clean singles by
Daniel Murphy in the seventh and ninth.
After Angel Pagan's leadoff flyout to center fielder Chris
Dickerson, who made a sliding catch, the Reds didn't have another
outfield putout until pinch-hitter Gary Sheffield flied out to left
ending the eighth.
Cincinnati, which hasn't had a winning record since 2000,
entered fifth in the six-team NL Central at 41-43 and had lost four
of its previous five games.
Nieve (3-3) pitched decently but lost his third straight start
following a 3-0 start with New York. He gave up three runs and
eight hits in six innings.
Votto put the Reds ahead in the fourth when he homered about two
rows into the left-field seats. The Reds made it 2-0 when Brandon
Phillips doubled, took third on a wild pitch and scored as Jerry
Hairston Jr. missed a squeeze bunt. Third baseman David Wright took
the throw from Brian Schneider, had trouble getting the ball out of
his glove and then threw high to the plate, with the ball glancing
off the top of the catcher's glove. Phillips was credited with a
steal of home.
Nix homered with one out in the sixth, driving the ball into the
second deck in right.
NOTES: The crowd set a Guinness record in the middle of the
second inning for most potato chips crunched simultaneously, part
of a promotion.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)