Wright's homers, Reyes' legs back Pedro
Young stars help veteran pitcher to a hard-fought win over Reds
NEW YORK -- The Wright and Reyes show.
Reyes is Wright.
Reyes Wright now.
You could go on and on with the various ways to use David Wright and Jose Reyes in slogans.
But any way you put it, the way the two young phenoms have been playing, it's simply best to let their actions speak the loudest for them. And they've done just that.
In a week in which their manager has praised them in each and every press conference, the two have already had a week that may just end up topping last week, in which they shared the honor as National League co-Players of the Week.
And, on Thursday, they added to their numbers, numbers that might just have them winning the same award this week.
Wright hit a couple of two-run home runs, and Reyes extended his hitting streak to 10 games in helping the Mets beat the Reds, 6-2, on Thursday to salvage a split in the four-game series. Wright finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs, while Reyes went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two stolen bases.
Their performances helped Pedro Martinez record his seventh victory of the season. The 34-year-old right-hander pitched six innings and only allowed two hits and two runs, but the veteran ace gave up an uncharacteristic amount of walks (five) against a typical number of strikeouts (eight).
"Yeah, luckily," said Martinez, when asked about not giving up more than two runs. "I got my money's worth on that one. I was missing my spots and I got into some trouble there, but I think I made the right pitches at the right time when I needed to. And the offense picked me up at the right time as well."
After a 1-2-3 inning in the first, Martinez allowed a leadoff single in the second to Austin Kearns. Adam Dunn followed with a single and the two advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Phillips. Kearns scored on a sacrifice fly by David Ross.
After another quick inning in the third, Martinez allowed a second run in the fourth, when he walked Scott Hatteberg, Kearns and Dunn to start the inning. Phillips hit another fly ball to score Hatteberg, but Martinez induced Ross and Juan Castro into consecutive flyouts to end the inning.
"I thought we did a good job against Pedro," said Reds manager Jerry Narron. "We got his pitch count up. We had some chances. He's a great pitcher. He's a great competitor. He did what he had to do to minimize the damage, that's for sure. But I thought we had a good approach against him."
While the Reds were unable to capitalize on their opportunities, leaving eight men on base and batting 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, the Mets gave their ace right-hander all the runs he would need in the fourth. And, for good measure, they added three more in the fifth.
Carlos Beltran led off the fourth with a walk. Then Wright, after watching two pitches for balls from Cincinnati starter Eric Milton, blasted a fastball to left-center to tie the game. The Mets added another run when Julio Franco, starting at first base against the left-hander, doubled and scored on a single by Xavier Nady.
Wright continued his hot play in the fifth, with the help of his infield sidekick. Reyes led off the inning the same way he had begun the game, smacking a single to center. Unlike the first, in which he advanced to second and third by stealing his Major League-leading 31st and 32nd bases, Reyes got to third with some heads-up baserunning.
Chris Woodward bounced a high chopper towards short, but Reds third baseman Juan Castro cut it off and threw to first to record the out. Reyes never hesitated rounding second and easily beat Castro to an open third base.
Beltran singled to score Reyes, and Wright stepped up. He watched two balls go by and duplicated his feat from the previous inning. This time, he went to the other way for his 17th home run of the season and his third multi-home run game of the year. His opposite-field jack brought chants of, "MVP, MVP," from the 46,767 in attendance, and Wright acknowledged them with a curtain call.
"Reyes is a sparkplug for us," said Wright, who raised his average to .338 in going 2-for-3. "It's fun to play next to him with his great defense, and when he gets things going at the beginning of innings like that, it can only help everyone else."
The run support was also a major sigh of relief for Martinez, who has been the bearer of bad luck or few runs in many of his past eight starts, in which the Mets went 2-6.
"Those two guys are impressive," said Martinez of Wright and Reyes. "David is our MVP so far this year, and Jose has had an impressive series. Our whole team is playing well, though, and it was nice to have the runs from those guys."
In four games in the past month and a half, Martinez left in the late innings with a lead, only to have the 'pen blow it and lose the game.
"He's had his share of tough no-decisions, so it was nice to get this one for him," said Mets skipper Willie Randolph. "We did a good job shutting the door."
Randolph and Wright both mentioned how it was good to follow the heartbreaker with a quality win, and it gave the team some momentum as it goes on the road for Interleague series against the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Yankees.
But the good vibes were exemplified best by Martinez, who strayed from the subject of baseball to analyze the World Cup soccer tournament. He responded to a question about his defensive play in the first inning, when he kicked a grounder by Hatteberg to Reyes, who threw to Franco at first for an out.
"Hey, that's like those guys in the World Cup," said Martinez, who ran down the list of who he likes, including Mexico, Argentina and Italy. "The one I like the best? It's got to be Brazil. They have the most talent and they play the best together." A lot like the Mets.
Chris Girandola is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.