Mets 1, Reds 0

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- Daisuke Matsuzaka dominated the Cincinnati Reds for 7 2/3 shutout innings, lifting the New York Mets to a 1-0 victory in the finale of a three-game series on Wednesday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.

Cincinnati (90-69) has clinched a postseason berth, but Wednesday's loss eliminated them from the National League Central race.

The Reds, who play host to the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates for a three-game series beginning Friday, are hoping to host Tuesday's NL wild card game. The season series between the Reds and Pirates is even at 8-8, and that's the first tiebreaker for home field in the wild card matchup.

New York (73-85) finished its season series against Cincinnati with a 4-10 record after taking two of the last three.

Matsuzaka (3-3), who was facing the Reds for the first time in his career, allowed four hits and two walks and had six strikeouts.

LaTroy Hawkins, who was nursing a sore triceps muscle, pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 13th save.

Mat Latos (14-7) was named the Reds' Wednesday starter the night before the game. He pitched seven solid innings, allowing one run and four hits. He walked two and struck out seven.

The Mets scored their run in the third inning when Wilfredo Tovar was hit by a pitch and later scored from third on Eric Young's seeing-eye single through the right side of the infield.

Meanwhile, Matsuzaka stymied the Reds, allowing three hits through five innings.

Cincinnati's best scoring opportunity was in the third when Cesar Izturis led off with a double but was left stranded.

In the fifth, Mets catcher Juan Centeno became the first to throw out Reds rookie speedster Billy Hamilton, who was 13-for-13 on stolen base attempts.

Latos found his rhythm in the middle innings, retiring seven straight, including five via strikeouts and all three batters in the sixth.

Cincinnati had its chances.

With two outs in the eighth, a wild pitch by Pedro Feliciano advanced runners to second and third for Joey Votto, who flied out to center.

The Reds were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base.

NOTES: Latos started in order to align the Reds' rotation so that he would be available to start Tuesday's National League wild card game, if needed. ... Cincinnati set an attendance record of 2,371,103 this season at Great American Ball Park. The previous mark of 2,355,259 was established in 2003, the ballpark's inaugural season. ... Mets 3B David Wright was given the day off. "I expect him to play three of the next four games, I'm not sure about all four," manager Terry Collins said. Wright is hitting .429 with two homers since coming off the disabled list. ... Reds LHP Tony Cingrani threw a bullpen session and could be available to pitch out of the bullpen this weekend. Cingrani left his start on Sept. 10 with back spasms. ... Reds OF Jay Bruce had two stolen bases for the first time in his career.
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