NEW YORK (AP) — Joey Votto swatted a pair of home runs and the Cincinnati Reds took advantage of a rare overturned call by the umpires to earn a wild 8-6 victory over the New York Mets on Monday night.
Drew Stubbs and Corky Miller each drove in a pair of runs during a strange six-run fifth inning, one that included everything from a run-scoring triple by rookie pitcher Travis Wood to Mets manager Jerry Manuel getting tossed for arguing with the umpires.
Angel Pagan hit a solo homer and Alex Cora added a pair of RBIs for New York, which answered with five runs in the bottom half of the inning but could never draw even.
Jordan Smith (2-1) pitched 2 1-3 innings of relief before turning it over to All-Star reliever Arthur Rhodes, and Francisco Cordero got some help from a couple nifty catches by his defense to survive the ninth and earn his 23rd save.
The ease with which the Reds bullpen shut down New York the final four innings stood in stark contrast to the struggles that Wood and Mets starter Mike Pelfrey (10-3) had during an eventful fifth inning that left most of the Citi Field crowd in an uproar.
Votto's first-inning homer and Jason Bay's RBI single had knotted the game before Pelfrey walked the bases loaded to start the fifth. An inside pitch then appeared to graze the Reds' Scott Rolen, who had checked his swing and started toward first base.
Plate umpire Jerry Meals rang him up on strikes, indicating a foul tip, even though replays appeared to support Rolen.
Rolen immediately began to argue and manager Dusty Baker came out of the dugout to challenge the call, nearly tripping over the bat boy. The four four-man umpire crew gathered on the infield grass for several minutes to discuss it.
They finally broke their huddle and sent Rolen to first, bringing home the go-ahead run and prompting Manuel to sprint onto the field and pick up the discussion for his club. It took umpire Dan Iassogna only a couple of seconds listening to toss Manuel from the game.
The play was similar to one involving the same umpire crew over the weekend at Yankee Stadium.
Alex Gonzalez of the Blue Jays had been hit by a pitch from Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, but plate umpire Mark Wegner — who worked first base Monday night — called it a foul ball. Wegner convened with Iassogna and crew chief Dale Scott to discuss the play, but there was not enough evidence to overturn the original call.
Gonzalez struck out on the next pitch, but wound up winning the game in the 11th inning.
The Mets nearly made the call Monday night moot as well.
Pagan homered to lead off the bottom of the fifth, and David Wright's triple gave New York some momentum. Ike Davis laid down an RBI bunt, Jeff Francoeur walked and Rod Barajas followed with an RBI single. Cora then made it 7-6 with a double to right field before Smith finally got the Reds out of the inning.
Votto gave his bullpen another run to work with in the sixth — not that it needed any help — before adding a double in the ninth inning.
He also gave fans something to think about as they cast their vote for the final spot on the NL All-Star roster. Votto is among five candidates on the online ballot.
NOTES: The Mets put INF Fernando Tatis (sprained right shoulder) on the DL and recalled LHP Raul Valdes from Triple-A Buffalo. ... Wood made his second career start on short notice. The Reds scratched RHP Aaron Harang (lower back soreness) about 30 minutes before the first pitch. ... U.S. soccer star Jozy Altidore was among the crowd at Citi Field.