By HAL McCOY
CINCINNATI — It was Adventures on the Basepaths in Great American Ball Park Wednesday afternoon. And it didn’t turn out well for the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds ran the bases like an uncoached tee-ball team – run until you are out — and the New York Mets pretty much trotted their way around the bases.
The result was another Reds defeat at the hands of the Mets, 6-3, the 14th straight time the Reds have lost to the Metropolitans. On this visit the Mets, lingering in wild card country, swept three games from the Reds.
THE REDS HAD METS STARTER Noah Syndergaard staggering in each of the five innings he pitched but couldn’t score. They were 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position in those five innings and left at least one runner on base in all five innings.
And it didn’t get any better against the Mets bullpen — more baserunners, no runs through seven innings. For the game, the Reds had at least one hit in all nine innings but scored only in the eighth when they scored three off Gabriel Ynoa and Addison Russell.
The Amazing Jose Peralta doubled home two runs in the eighth, his fourth hit of the afternoon.
TALK ABOUT RUNNING INTO OUTS, the Reds made a study of it in the second inning. Brandon Phillips led the inning with a single and was thrown out trying to steal. Scott Schebler then walked and he, too, was thrown out trying to steal and he didn’t even have the decency to slide.
“We had some mistakes, for sure,” said manager Bryan Price. “When Schebler didn’t slide he thought he heard the ball fouled off. We had some missed opportunities there.”
Mets catcher Rene Rivera had thrown out only 16 of 48 base thieves going into the game, but went back-to-back thrown-em-out in the second.
In the third the Reds had Jose Peraza on third and Eugenio Suarez on first. Suarez broke too soon for second and was hung up off first. Peraza broke for home and was thrown out.
“Suarez broke a little early on a straight steal toward second base and got picked off,” said Price. “That was a good opportunity for us to score because the third baseman was playng so far off the line if they had thrown through to second Peraza could have scored.”
THE METS GRABBED THE LEAD on the first pitch Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani threw on the scorchingly hot and drippily humid afternoon. New York leadoff batter Jose Reyes drove the first pitch into the right field seats, the 24th game-opening home run of his career and the sixth this season.
New York scored its second run when DeSclafani took a mound snooze in the third. With Reyes on third, DeSclafani threw a pitch in the dirt. Catcher Tucker Barnhart partially blocked it and it didn’t roll far. But DeSclafani didn’t immediately break to cover home and Reyes beat him to the plate easily to make it 2-0.
“It was just bad baseball — not covering home plate, some really poor mistakes today,” said Price.
It became 3-0 in the sixth, another trot around the bases when Curtis Granderson cleared the center field wall and crash-landed his 25th home run into the grassy knoll.
The Mets added two in the eighth against rookie Wandy Peralta when Curtis Granderson singled and pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores homered, his 16th of the season, but first pinch-hit home run of his career. Peralta then gave up a single and hit a batter and was finished — four batters faced, none retired.
After Peraza’s two-run double pulled the Reds within 5-3, they had runners on second and third — the potential tying runs — but Addison Russell struck out Eugenio Suarez.
REDS RELIEF PITCHER TONY CINGRANI couldn’t keep it within two runs in the ninth, though, giving up back-to-back doubles to Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes to push New York’s advantage to 6-3.
The Reds matched the Mets in hits with 13, but stranded 12 runners and were 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
“Despite all our losses, this wasn’t a typical game for us,” said Price. “We’re in a trend right now where we are getting a lot of guys on base but we aren’t scoring a lot of runs. We had 17 or 18 baserunners today and scored only three. So it’s tough because we aren’t scoring like we had been the last five or six weeks.”
Cincinnati pitchers have given up 228 home runs this season, 44 more than the Philadelphia Phillies, who have given up the second most in the National League.
The bright spot was another four-hit afternoon by Peraza, who played shortstop. He had two doubles, a straight single and a bunt single in five at bats.
“And look who he is facing — really good pitchers,” said Price. “He is hitting the ball right on the screws and doing a super job. He brings energy, he is aggressive on the bases and he is a guy who can bunt for a hit and do a lot of things.
“He is making the most of some opportunities and done a really nice job of it,” Price added. “He looks as if he certainly is capable of being an every day player and it is a matter of finding his best spot and where he best serves the team. And he can serve it in a lot of different good ways.”