Mets, Harvey try to salvage finale in Cincinnati

Rookie right-hander Matt Harvey gets his first look at the Cincinnati Reds tonight when the New York Mets visit Great American Ball Park to wrap up a three-game series.

Harvey, a 23-year-old Connecticut native, was drafted in the third round by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim out of high school but did not sign. He attended the University of North Carolina and was eventually selected seventh overall by the Mets in 2010.

He was 7-5 in 20 starts at Triple-A Buffalo to begin 2012 before the call-up to the majors, where he debuted on July 26 with 5 1/3 innings of scoreless three-hit ball in a 3-1 win at Arizona.

Three subsequent starts have yielded three straight losses to San Francisco, San Diego and Atlanta, in which Harvey has yielded 14 hits and 10 runs in 17 innings of work.

Overall, he's limited big-league batters to a .205 average while walking 12 and striking out 26 in 22 1/3 innings.

The Reds send former first-round pick Homer Bailey to the mound with a chance to build on a career-high victory total.

A 26-year-old Texan selected seventh overall in 2004, Bailey had won eight games in 2009 and nine last season before finally getting to double-digits with a 10-6 defeat of the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 10.

He'd gone six starts without a loss - including four wins - in a stretch between July 2 and July 31, then dropped an 8-2 decision against Pittsburgh on Aug. 5 before downing the Cubs.

He last faced the Mets on June 16 in New York and scored a 4-1 win after allowing six hits and a run in eight innings with three strikeouts.

Bailey has split two decisions in three career meetings with the Mets.

In Wednesday's third game, Mike Leake tossed his second complete game of the season, Scott Rolen and Todd Frazier hit back-to-back homers and the Reds downed New York, 6-1.

Cincinnati was coming off consecutive shutout victories and Leake (5-7) stretched the club's scoreless innings streak to 28 by retiring the first nine batters he faced.

In all, the 24-year-old righty gave up four hits, struck out four and did not issue a walk. He added an RBI single in the sixth inning.

"I was able to hit the glove a lot," Leake said.

Jay Bruce led off the sixth with his 24th homer of the season. Brandon Phillips and Ryan Ludwick each drove in a run for the National League Central Division leaders, who have won five in a row.

R.A. Dickey (15-4) was charged with five runs on 10 hits, including three homers, over six innings. He walked two and struck out nine.

New York has dropped seven of its last nine.

"We haven't done much lately and I'm gonna find some guys," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Maybe it's time for some breaks for some guys."

The Reds won four of the first five games between the teams in 2012, including three straight in a series at Citi Field in June. The teams split a two-game set in New York in May.

The Mets won the 2011 season series, 5-2.