Booed all game, Ken Griffey Jr. had a chance to get even at the end.
Instead, in a juicy power vs. power matchup, Junior looked at strike three on a full-count fastball from Armando Benitez for the final out and the New York Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 Tuesday night for their ninth straight win.
Griffey, who blocked a trade last winter that would have sent him from Seattle to the Mets, was greeted mostly by catcalls from the 27,153 fans the smallest crowd to see him this season.
"I've been booed everywhere I go," he said.
But Griffey had a quiet night at the plate in going 0-for-3 with two walks. He struck out twice chasing high fastballs from Al Leiter.
"I'm just swinging at some bad pitches," he said.
In the ninth, Benitez issued a leadoff walk to Sean Casey before striking out Pokey Reese and pinch-hitter Michael Tucker. That brought up Griffey, and the boos and chants got louder as Benitez got ahead in the count 0-2.
Three balls later, Griffey looked at a borderline fastball on the outside corner called strik three by plate umpire Rich Rieker.
"I worked inside and outside because if I made a mistake, I knew it would be trouble," said Benitez, who once allowed a home run to Griffey. "He got me, I got him."
Bell homered to spark a seventh-inning rally that sent the Mets to their longest winning streak since they took nine in a row in May 1998. Edgardo Alfonzo and Robin Ventura also homered for New York, which has not won 10 straight since 1991.
The Reds have lost four straight for the first time since September 1998.
Mets shortstop Rey Ordonez and third base coach Cookie Rojas were absent, honoring a call by Cuban-Americans to protest the Elian Gonzalez case. Reds outfielder Alex Ochoa, whose parents were born in Cuba, decided to play.
Griffey, a 10-time Gold Glove center fielder, raced into the alley in left-center and reached above the wall to catch Bell's bid for a leadoff homer in the fifth.
Bell, however, got even by hitting a drive where no one could grab it. He opened the seventh with a homer to left that tied it at 5.
"I made sure the second one went out," Bell said.
Bell, just picked as NL Player of the Week, looked completely comfortable in the throwback uniforms the teams wore from 1969. He prefers a baggy fit, and wore these well.
Turk Wendell (2-0) stopped the Reds' four-run rally in the sixth, beating Ochoa to the bag on a slow grounder to strand runners at second and third.
Benitez earned his eighth save as the Mets won for the 11th time in 12 games.
Piazza and Ventura dobled for a 1-0 lead in the second off rookie Rob Bell. Alfonzo hit a two-run homer and Ventura also connected in the third.
Leiter pitched for the first time since his wife, Lori, gave birth to the couple's third child, Jack, on Friday.
Ochoa had an RBI grounder in the Reds third. Cincinnati scored four times in the sixth for a 5-4 lead, keyed by pinch-hitter Mark Lewis' two-out, two-run single that finished Leiter.
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