Reds Continue Free Fall

CINCINNATI -- A five-run Mets sixth inning helped send the Reds to an 11-7 loss on Tuesday that extended their losing streak to five games.
Handed a 5-3 lead heading into the sixth, Reds starter Matt Belisle gave it right back. After Ruben Gotay hit a leadoff single to left field, there was one out when Carlos Beltran sent a 2-1 pitch over the center-field fence for a two-run homer.

Belisle, who also gave up Paul Lo Duca's three-run homer in the second to fall into a three-run deficit, allowed five earned runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings, with one walk and no strikeouts.

Bill Bray took over and gave up hits to all three batters he faced, including Shawn Green's two-run double to the wall in right-center field. Lo Duca's single off Gary Majewski made it a three-run game.

The Reds had just snapped a 3-3 tie with two runs against Oliver Perez in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Norris Hopper struck out on a ball in the dirt but reached first safely, then scored from first base on Jeff Keppinger's RBI double to the left-field corner. Keppinger scored on Ken Griffey Jr.'s sacrifice fly.

Perez issued three straight two-out walks and loaded the bases, but escaped when Alex Gonzalez grounded out back to the mound. The Mets were let off the hook, and took advantage a half-inning later.

Lo Duca added a second three-run homer in the eighth off reliever Todd Coffey.

Cincinnati has now lost seven of its last nine games.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for