Reed, Mets Do Damage To Bucs

Actor Joseph Fiennes attends "The Darwin Awards" party during the 2006 Sundance Film Festival Jan. 25, 2006 in Park City, Utah. GETTY IMAGES/Evan Agostini

Rick Reed did a little extra to help the Mets get their third straight win by a shutout.

Reed pitched eight strong innings, drove in a run and provided some key defense as New York defeated Pittsburgh 4-0, snapping the Pirates' four-game winning streak.

Reed (11-6) allowed six hits and struck out nine for the Mets, whose last three wins have been shutouts. New York pitchers have combined for 12 shutouts this season, tying them with Atlanta for tops in the league.

"Rick is a real professional," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "He's proven it to everyone who's watched him."

John Franco, playing for the first time since serving a three-game suspension for bumping an umpire, pitched the ninth. The left-hander gave up two hits and struck out two.

"Two of our four guys put up zeros," Valentine said. "He wanted to put up zeros. The guy who had the longest rest and needed to get in there got in there and Rick got the rest of them."

Reed did not walk a batter for the seventh time this year, bringing his walks per nine innings average down to 1.3, ranking him second in the league.

"I don't like walking guys," Reed said. "They always seem to score, so I try not to walk anybody."

Jason Schmidt (8-7) lost his sixth straight decision, giving up four runs and six hits in seven innings. The right-hander was the NL's first eight-game winner, but hasn't won in nine starts. He got his his victory on June 1 against the Mets.

Pittsburgh threatened to score in the first inning after singling twice to open the game, but Reed's defense helped keep the Pirates off the board. He fielded a sacrifice and made a strong throw to first for the first out. Then, after striking out Kevin Young, he threw Jose Guillen out at first after grabbing a high-chopper.

"He got in almost cruise control," Pittsburgh manager Gene Lamont said. "He pitched really tough to get out of that and then continued the whole game."

New York's Todd Hundley, starting his eighth game as a left fielder, recorded his first outfield assist with a throw to third.

"That's a good one to go home on," Valentine said.

Hundley, a former All-Star catcher playing left field after coming back from elbow surgery, kept Pittsburgh from scoring in the fifth.

With two outs and Lou Collier on first after being hit, Womack doubled down the third-base line. Hundley fielded the ball cleanly and threw to third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo, who tagged out Collier as he dove back to third after overrunning the base.

The crowd gave a standing ovation to Hundley, who had two errors in a game last week.

"It was a base hit down the line," Hundley said. "I got up and saw Rey (Ordonez) right there, about 10 feet away. thought `I can throw further than this.' I saw Fonzie behind him and I just shot for Fonzie."

The Mets scored all four runs in the third inning. Todd Pratt led off with a double and Ordonez reached on an infield bunt single. Reed then hit a roller to the right side that Tony Womack misplayed for an error.

With one out, Alfonzo doubled home two runs and advanced on John Olerud's single. Hundley then hit an RBI double.

Tempers flared after New York's Butch Huskey struck out looking on a 3-2 pitch for the second out of the third.

When home plate umpire Bob Davidson called him out, Huskey jumped up and down in the batter's box. Then, with Carlos Baerga at the plate, Huskey charged out of the dugout after he was ejected as manager Bobby Valentine and coaches Cookie Rojas, Mookie Wilson and Bruce Benedict tried to restrain him.

Notes:
  • There was no batting practice before the game due to a late afternoon shower.
  • Pittsburgh catcher Jason Kendall began serving a three-game suspension for a fight with Los Angeles' Gary Sheffield on June 28.
  • Womack extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games. It is Pittsburgh's longest streak this season.
  • Womack stole his league-leading 38th base in the eighth. Pittsburgh is the top team in the NL in total steals with 102 and has been successful in 15 straight attempts.
  • The Mets have used 84 different batting orders in 95 games this season.
  • Pratt made his fifth start of the season behind the plate for New York, subbing for Mike Piazza.
  • Bill Pulsipher is scheduled to make his first start for the Mets since Sept. 11, 1995, in the first game of a doubleheader in Milwaukee on Wednesday.

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