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Reds at Mets 6/22/06

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Mets turn to RHP Martinez to salvage split with Reds

Cincinnati (39-33) at NY Mets (44-27) 1:10 pm EDT


FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) -- The New York Mets send Pedro Martinez to the mound in the finale of a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday afternoon.


New York's Jose Reyes hit for the cycle Wednesday, but closer Billy Wagner blew a lead in the ninth inning and the Mets lost to the Reds, 6-5. Brandon Phillips delivered the big hit with a two-out, two-run single in the ninth to lift the Reds.


The Mets have now lost four of six after a season-high eight-game winning streak. New York is also just 2-6 in Martinez's last eight starts, including a loss against Baltimore on Saturday when Martinez yielded four runs and eight hits in seven innings.


Martinez (6-3, 3.01 ERA) has dropped two of his last three starts. In his last three outings, he has allowed 12 runs and 21 hits in 17 innings.


Lifetime against the Reds, Martinez is 5-2 with a 1.96 ERA in 16 appearances. His last win against the Reds was a one-hitter for the Montreal Expos on July 13, 1997. Martinez also fired a four-hitter against the Reds on June 14, 1996 when he struck out 11 and on April 13, 1994, he took a perfect game into the eighth inning.


The Reds have continued to play well on the road. Phillips' hit off Wagner and three RBI by Ken Griffey Jr. gave them their ninth win in their last 10 road games.


Cincinnati will also attempt to win a series at Shea Stadium for the third time in the last four seasons. The Reds will start Eric Milton (4-3, 4.14), who makes his seventh start since coming back from left knee surgery.


Since returning, Milton is 2-2 with a 3.10 ERA. Milton did not get a decision Saturday against the Chicago White Sox after allowing six hits and three runs in six innings.


In his last start at New York on May 18, 2005, the lefthander was tagged for six runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 10-6 loss.

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Didn't see the game because I was coming back from vacation but I think it was a poor descision on Willie's part to let Bradford finish. You should hand the ball to Wags for another night to get some of the cobwebs out of his head and keep a fresh arm in the pen.

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