The Cincinnati Reds won a game, time to celebrate, alright back to reality.Right-handed pitcher Alfredo Simon threw seven efficient innings in his season debut Sunday afternoon and first baseman Joey Votto and left fielder Ryan Ludwick had RBIs in consecutive sixth-inning at-bats as the Cincinnati Reds edged the New York Mets 2-1 at Citi Field to avoid the sweep.
Simon, making his first major league start since Sept. 28, 2011, allowed just one run on four hits and one walk while striking out six and throwing 79 pitches (56 strikes). He retired 10 in a row between the third and sixth and set down 14 of the final 16 batters he faced.
Left-hander Manny Parra retired all six batters he faced for his first career save.
Ludwick and second baseman Brandon Phillips each had two hits for the Reds (2-4), who ended a three-game losing streak by salvaging the finale of the three-game series.
For the Mets, center fielder Juan Lagares had an RBI single in the second while first baseman Ike Davis had two hits and scored New York’s lone run.
Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese, who was also making his season debut, took the loss after allowing two runs on six hits and one walk while striking out four over 5 2/3 innings. Niese was limited to four innings in spring training due to shoulder and elbow injuries and was activated off the disabled list prior to the game.
The Mets scored first for the fifth time in six games when Davis, who hit the pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam to lift them to a 6-3 win on Saturday, doubled with one out in the second and scored on Lagares’ single.
The Mets squandered an opportunity to extend the lead in the third, when Niese walked with one out and left fielder Eric Young doubled. But Simon struck out second baseman Daniel Murphy and third baseman David Wright to end the threat.
Niese threw just 63 pitches in the first five innings, a stretch in which the Reds got only one runner into scoring position, before Cincinnati chased him in the sixth by stringing together four singles.
Simon, center fielder Chris Heisey and Phillips opened the inning with singles before Votto’s sacrifice fly brought home Simon and sent Heisey to third. Ludwick then singled through shortstop to score Heisey.
Davis led off the seventh with a single off the first base bag. One out later, catcher Travis d’Arnaud crushed a Simon offering to deep left field, but Ludwick made the catch at the wall.
Big time win for the Reds, they will head to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals in their home opener tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is at 4:15pm.
The Reds have only won three series’ in St Louis since 2003, can the Bryan Price era reverse the ugly trend that forever haunts this team in Missouri? We’ll see.