Aces Wild: Harvey, Latos square off in Citi Field finale

A pair of unbeaten early-season aces head to the mound at Citi Field on Wednesday when the Cincinnati Reds aim for a sweep of the New York Mets in the finale of a three-game series.

The host Mets will try to avoid a third straight loss to the Reds with second- year righty phenom Matt Harvey, who's won five decisions in nine starts after debuting with three wins in 10 starts last year.

Harvey won his initial four starts between April 3 and April 19, then got four straight no-decisions before breaking back through with a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on May 17.

In that start at Wrigley Field, he allowed two runs on five hits and struck out two batters in 7 1/3 innings of a 3-2 win.

Harvey beat the Reds in one 2012 matchup, allowing a run on four hits in 7 2/3 innings.

For the Reds, righty Mat Latos meets the Mets for the sixth time in his career.

The Virginia native was 14-4 in his initial season with the Reds in 2012, then opened this season with four straight no-decisions before then winning four straight starts between April 24 and May 11.

He got a tough luck no-decision in his most recent start on May 16, when he tossed 8 1/3 innings of two-run ball at Miami in a game the Reds ultimately won, 5-3.

Latos is 2-1 in the five previous outings against New York with a 2.70 ERA in 30 innings.

On Tuesday, Mike Leake held New York's floundering offense to just three hits over seven innings of work and the Reds shut out the Mets, 4-0.

The Reds managed only seven hits, but took advantage of a two-out error by Mets third baseman David Wright to score two of their three first-inning runs.

That's all the support Leake (4-2) needed to notch his third straight victory and fourth in five games. The righty struck out four and set down nine of the last 10 New York batters he faced.

"Leake threw a great ball game," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "He had it all going on tonight, his last start too and the start before that. He's throwing the ball well."

Devin Mesoraco forced a run in with a bases-loaded walk then hit a solo homer in the ninth to help the Reds to their ninth win in 11 games.

After a lengthy first inning, Jonathon Niese (3-5) settled in and went on to record a season-best seven strikeouts, but couldn't get any help from a feeble lineup which has produced a combined eight hits in the last two games.

The Mets have won just two of their last 12 contests at Citi Field, where they have scored less than three runs in nine straight. Lucas Duda and John Buck each doubled and were stranded in scoring position.

The Reds won six of eight games with the Mets last season, while New York was a winner in five of seven meetings in 2011.