CINCINNATI (AP) - Daniel Murphy hit a three-run homer off Mike Leake, whose long streak of scoreless innings got shattered early, and the New York Mets beat Cincinnati 4-2 on Tuesday night, a costly setback to the Reds' hopes of a second straight NL Central title.
The Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates clinched playoff spots on Monday night, but hope to chase down the first-place St. Louis Cardinals with closing surges. Leake's one very bad inning made that much less likely for the Reds, who opened the day tied with Pittsburgh two games behind St. Louis.
Leake (14-7) gave up four runs and eight hits in only 1 2-3 innings, matching the shortest start of his career. Wilfredo Tovar ended his scoreless innings streak at 21 2-3 with an RBI single, and Murphy's homer gave left-hander Jon Niese (8-8) the big lead.