Mets even series with Reds

Mets even series with Reds

NEW YORK -- On Monday, the Mets did pretty much everything they usually do to win except, well, win. That is, they had a quality start from Orlando Hernandez, they made some key defensive plays, they stole bases, and their closer, Billy Wagner, came in to pitch in the ninth.

On Tuesday, the Mets would make sure they wouldn't walk out of Shea Stadium empty-handed, as Steve Trachsel picked up his third-straight win in a 9-2 thumping of the Reds in front of 38,991. Trachsel went six-plus innings, allowing two runs and six hits with one strikeout and two walks. Trachsel also hit his third career home run with a solo drive in the fifth inning, the first since he had one with the Cubs on Aug. 28, 1998 against the Rockies.

"I'm more proud of my outing on the mound," said Trachsel, when asked to compare his home run against his pitching performance.

The Mets offense looked far different from Monday, in which they managed only seven hits off Reds starter Bronson Arroyo, who pitched a complete game. They wasted no time in taking care of business, scoring three runs in the first inning, which turned out to be enough for Trachsel (5-4, 4.67).

"They've done that the last three games for me," said Trachsel, who pitched 5 1/3 innings in the Mets' 10-6 win over the Diamondbacks on June 9 and six innings in a 5-4 victory over the Phillies on June 15. "In this game, it allowed me to pound the zone and attack the hitters early in the count. And that was good, because they were more aggressive than I thought they would be."

Jose Reyes opened the game with a leadoff double and scored when Paul Lo Duca followed with a double of his own. After Reds starter Elizardo Ramirez (2-6, 3.69) induced Carlos Beltran into a groundout, Lo Duca scored on Carlos Delgado's homer to right. Delgado's homer was the first baseman's 389th of his career, tying him for 47th place on the all-time list.

Trachsel allowed a run in the fifth when Brandon Phillips hit a leadoff double and scored two batters later when Ramirez grounded out to Jose Valentin.

But the 6-foot-4 right-hander got the run back with his homer in the next half inning. "I knew it when I hit it," said Trachsel, whose home run was the first by a Met since Shawn Estes did so on June 15, 2002. "The other two times I hit one, I never saw it. This time, I did. And it felt and looked pretty good."

And so was his pitching.

The only other trouble besides the fifth for Trachsel came in the seventh when he gave up a leadoff single to Ken Griffey Jr., followed by a walk to Adam Dunn. Austin Kearns knocked Trachsel out of the game with a single to left to load the bases.

But Duaner Sanchez entered the game and, after Scott Hatteberg's sacrifice fly to center, got Phillips to ground into an inning-ending double play.

"Except for the seventh, I felt really good," said Trachsel, who threw 92 pitches, 57 for strikes. "I was able to locate my fastballs early which allowed me to set up my splitter."

The Mets added a combined five runs in the sixth and seventh, highlighted by Xavier Nady's two home runs.

In the sixth, Valentin was walked by Reds reliever David Weathers. Nady then crushed a 1-1 fastball from the former Mets pitcher deep over the center-field wall.

Nady, who returned from the 15-day DL on Sunday, was greeted by several Mets players at the top of the dugout.

"We've got a real good bunch of guys," said Mets skipper Willie Randolph. "We're happy for everyone when they do well, but it was especially nice to see X do that. He was doing that well before he got hurt and it's good to have him back in the lineup."

The Mets scored two more after Nady's seventh-inning shot, and then the right fielder added a solo homer in the eighth, his first multi-homer game since April 4, 2005 with the Padres.

"I worked on some things during batting practice to get my timing back," said Nady, who finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs. "It was a matter of spreading my legs out on my stance and toning down my leg kick on the approach. I also saw the ball a lot better tonight."

Reyes extended his hitting streak to eight games with his double in the first inning and is now batting .500 (17-for-34) with 11 runs scored, seven doubles, a triple, three RBIs and three stolen bases during that stretch.

Delgado also became the fourth Met to reach 20 home runs in the team's first 70 games, matching Dave Kingman (game 52 in 1976), Darryl Strawberry (game 64 in 1987), and Mike Piazza (game 68 in 2000).

Lo Duca finished 2-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and a run scored, while Valentin went 2-for-3 with a triple.

Chris Girandola is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.