NEW YORK (AP) — Bronson Arroyo, too, had a goal he wanted to hit.
Arroyo hung in as long as he could, but came up one inning shy of pitching 200 for the seventh straight year. The Cincinnati starter was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the ninth, and watched the Reds beat the New York Mets 5-4 in 13 innings on Tuesday night.
"It's been a nice run since '05 — 199, that's consistent, but I was one start short," Arroyo said.
Jose Reyes, trying to become the first Mets player to win a batting title, homered twice off Arroyo.
"I really wanted to go deep in the ballgame, but I let a couple balls out of the park," Arroyo said.
As to perhaps throwing one more inning in Wednesday's season finale, "I would love to do that, but my pitching coach wouldn't dream of doing that," Arroyo said.
Arroyo pitched a complete game in his previous start, giving himself a chance to reach his mark. He left with the Reds trailing after throwing 125 pitches.
"We sure did give him an opportunity, but those 29-pitch innings come back to haunt you," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said.
Arroyo has allowed 46 homers this season. That's two short of Jose Lima's NL record and four shy of the major league mark of 50 set by Bert Blyleven in 1986.
Reyes put pop into his bid for the batting crown with his solo shots. The Reds won with little ball on Drew Stubbs' squeeze bunt in the 13th.
Reyes began the next-to-last game of the season with a minuscule .00003 lead over Milwaukee's Ryan Braun. Reyes went 3 for 6 and raised his average to .336, finishing the evening one point ahead of Braun, who went 1 for 2 in a 6-4 win over Pittsburgh.
The Mets wind up Wednesday afternoon against the Reds. Braun has a night game.
Juan Francisco, who entered after Reds star Brandon Phillips exited early with a strained left quadriceps, hit a tying double with two outs in the ninth. He then hustled for a triple in the 13th and scored on Stubbs' bunt.
Justin Turner lined into a double play with the bases loaded to end the game, leaving Reyes on deck.
Reyes certainly made his case to win the batting title. He launched a drive into the Reds' bullpen in deep right-center field in the third inning, scoring his 100th run of the season. The next time up, the speedy leadoff man lined a drive that banged the facade of the upper deck in right.
Cheered by fans who realize the All-Star shortstop might play his final game for the Mets on Wednesday afternoon, Reyes, who will be a free agent after the season, came out for a curtain call after that fifth-inning shot. The home runs gave him seven this season and were his first since Aug. 2, a stretch interrupted by an injured hamstring. This was his first multihomer game since June 19, 2010.
Reyes added an infield single with two outs in the ninth. He fought off an inside fastball from Aroldis Chapman and beat out a broken-bat dribbler down the third base line, taking second when the reliever made a wild throw. Reyes stole third and bluffed a dash home, trying to get Chapman to balk, but was left stranded.
The Reds left the bases loaded in the 10th when pinch-hitter Dontrelle Willis struck out, and left them loaded again in the 11th when Chris Heisey grounded out.
Sam LeCure (2-1) got the win and Francisco Cordero held on for his 37th save in 43 chances. Cordero walked the first four batters — one runner was caught stealing — and then escaped.
Dale Thayer (0-3) took the loss.
Jay Bruce hit his 32nd home run and Joey Votto hit his 29th for the Reds.
NOTES: Edinson Volquez (5-6, 5.84) will start the yearender for the Reds vs. Miguel Batista (4-2, 4.24).
- Bronson Arroyo