Mets Lose Three To Reds, Defeat Orioles
After sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field last week, the New York Mets found themselves on the opposite end of a sweep in their return to Citi Field over the weekend.
On Friday, the Mets found themselves in an early hole against Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo. Jay Bruce ripped an inside-the-park home run in the second inning to get the Reds' offense going, and Brandon Phillips' two-run shot in the third made it 4-0.
Arroyo did the rest, holding New York to just one run in six-plus innings. Despite home runs from Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Scott Hairston, the Mets found themselves on the wrong end of a 7-3 score.
Saturday night's game was more of the same: Bruce once again gave his team the lead with a three-run home run in the first inning. That was more than enough for Reds starter Homer Bailey, who gave up just one run over eight strong innings of work.
In the series finale, the Mets ran into yet another talented pitcher in Johnny Cueto. With the bases loaded and one run already scored in the second inning, they seemed poised to do some damage, but Nieuwenhuis struck out swinging to end the rally.
That failure to capitalize proved costly, as Cueto was nearly untouchable over the remainder of his seven innings of work. Meanwhile, the Reds took the lead in the fifth inning; the big blow was a two-run single off the bat of Phillips. The 3-1 win gave Cincinnati the series sweep at New York's expense.
Coming off a three-game losing streak, the Mets turned to R.A. Dickey to stop the bleeding. The knuckleball specialist did not disappoint, shutting down Baltimore with his second straight one-hitter to lead New York to a 5-0 victory.
Ike Davis supplied the bulk of the offense with his first career grand slam. After a very cold start to the year, the first baseman has hit a scorching .468 in his last nine games.
Undoubtedly, though, the star of the show was Dickey, who set a Major League record by allowing no earned runs and striking out at least eight batters in each of his last five starts. Dickey joined Sam McDowell (1966) and Dave Stieb (1988) as only the third pitcher since 1945 to throw back-to-back one-hitters.
The Mets (36-32) will host the Orioles for two more games this week.
Yankees' Winning Streak Reaches Eleven
Fresh off series sweeps against the Mets and Braves, the New York Yankees made it ten straight with three wins in Washington and one against Atlanta.
On Friday, the streaking Yankees faced the equally hot Nationals in Washington, with Phil Hughes matched up against Gio Gonzalez. Both starters pitched fairly well, but Hughes was just a bit better as his team entered the seventh inning leading 2-1.
The Yankees put the game away in the top of the seventh by scoring two runs on a Derek Jeter single and two more on Curtis Granderson's double. Granderson added another run in the ninth inning with his 20th homer of the year as the Yankees won, 7-3.
Saturday's game was a hard-fought affair that saw the lead change hands twice in the first eight innings. The Yankees battled back from a 2-0 hole to take a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning, but the Nationals managed to tie it up in the bottom of the eighth.
The next five innings featured tremendous efforts from the bullpens as the score remained 3-3 into the 14th inning. However, the Nationals blinked first, as Mark Teixeira drove in two deep in extra frames to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead. Rafael Soriano worked the bottom of the inning for his 12th save of the year.
The Yankees had a much easier time putting Washington away in Sunday's series finale. Ivan Nova gave New York 7.2 innings of one-run ball, and Granderson and Robinson Cano belted home runs to help the Yankees win, 4-1.
That win was New York's ninth in a row and gave Nova his league-leading ninth victory on the season.
Returning to New York to host the Atlanta Braves, the Yankees made it ten straight behind staff ace CC Sabathia.
The Braves struck first, scoring single runs in the first and fifth frames, but Sabathia's pitching kept Atlanta from mounting a sustained rally. In the bottom of the fifth, New York plated three off right-hander Mike Minor to take a 3-2 advantage.
The Yankees went on to score three more runs, but Sabathia hardly needed the support: He went the distance for his first complete game of the year. The big left-hander racked up 10 strikeouts against just one walk.
With the 10-game winning streak, the Yankees have opened up a 2.5 game lead atop the American League East standings. They will host the Braves two more times this week before heading to Citi Field to take on the Mets.