Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 7/19)

Game 1: Tuesday, July 18
NY Mets8Final
Game 2: Wednesday, July 19
NY Mets4Final
Game 3: Thursday, July 20
NY Mets4Final
in 10

Mets 4

(56-38, 29-20 away)

Reds 7

(50-45, 25-23 home)

    7:10 PM ET, July 19, 2006

    Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    NYM 220000000 4 6 0
    CIN 00031003 - 7 10 0

    W: T. Coffey (5-4)

    L: D. Sanchez (5-1)

    S: E. Guardado (9)

    Washed away: Mets blow lead after delay, fall to Reds

    CINCINNATI (AP) -- While thunderstorms pelted the ballpark in the second inning, the Cincinnati Reds relaxed in their cozy clubhouse and hoped the rain wouldn't end.

    It ended, all right. And so did the best part of the New York Mets' night.

    Jason LaRue's two-run double in the eighth inning sparked the Reds to a 7-4 victory Wednesday night that featured a game-changing delay, a broken winning streak and a little taste of Hollywood.

    "I'm impressed to play the game that we did," LaRue said.

    The Reds rallied from a 4-0 deficit after the delay, tying it on Rich Aurilia's solo homer in the fifth. Scott Hatteberg started the winning rally with his third hit of the game, a leadoff single in the eighth off Duaner Sanchez (5-1).

    LaRue's after-midnight double into the left-field corner broke the tie with two outs, and Javier Valentin followed with a pinch-hit, run-scoring single.

    The Mets stockpiled four runs off Aaron Harang before the 2-hour, 23-minute delay in the bottom of the second inning changed everything. New York wasn't the same afterward, managing only two hits off a bullpen solidified by trades in the last two weeks.

    "The rain delay killed our whole momentum," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "It took us out of our rhythm."

    Todd Coffey (5-4) pitched out of a threat in the eighth, and Eddie Guardado got the final three outs to improve to 4-for-4 in save chances since the Reds got him in a trade with Seattle.

    The thunderstorms crimped Steve Trachsel's streak of seven victories in as many starts. The right-hander couldn't throw strikes after the delay, which provided fans an unexpected chance to snap photos of actor Tom Hanks, director Ron Howard and comedian Dennis Miller.

    Trachsel walked three of the first six batters he faced when play resumed on a soggy field with a mud-caked warning track. He gave up four hits and a walk in the fourth inning, when Edwin Encarnacion's pinch-hit, two-run single cut it to 4-3.

    Trachsel played catch a few times in the batting cages during the delay, and decided he felt good enough to give it a try.

    "The hardest part was staying focused," he said. "There was two hours between the start of the inning and the next batter."

    The managers walked around the field with crew chief Jerry Crawford while the grounds crew got it ready after the delay. Given the 4-0 deficit, Reds manager Jerry Narron wished they weren't playing anymore.

    "When you lose your starter in the second inning, you're not too crazy about it," Narron said.

    Once the Reds saw that the rain delay had knocked Trachsel out of his rhythm, they sensed it might not turn out so bad after all.

    "It surprised all of us, too," said Aurilia, whose solo homer off Darren Oliver tied it at four. "Trachsel threw pretty well to the first five hitters, then came back after the delay and didn't have his command. We took advantage of it."

    Unlike Trachsel, Harang didn't return when the rain finally let up. The right-hander had already thrown 51 pitches, giving up two-run singles to David Wright and Jose Reyes.

    "I really didn't want him to go back out there after a two-hour delay," Narron said. "If it's September, then probably, but not in July."

    The delay provided fans with some of their best moments on a long night. They got to snap pictures and chat with Hanks, Howard and Miller, who are making an unannounced ballparks tour in honor of Hanks' 50th birthday.

    The trio sat in the second row next to the Reds' dugout. When a boy sitting nearby got a foul ball, Hanks autographed it. He and Howard were shown on the ballpark video board for a between-inning "Kiss Cam" spot -- after Howard waved off a smooch, Hanks kissed the cheek of a woman sitting in the next row.

    Game notes

    Trachsel threw 21 pitches before the delay, 45 after it. ... The Mets swapped minor league infielders with Kansas City, sending Jeff Keppinger to the Royals for Ruben Gotay. ... Reyes went headfirst into bases twice, showing he won't change his style on the bases. He needed seven stitches for a cut on his hand July 7, when he dived into first base. ... RF Ryan Freel was back in the Reds' starting lineup for the first time since July 9. He has been hampered by a sore shoulder. Freel singled in his first at-bat and was picked off first base by Trachsel. ... Aurilia's homer extended his hitting streak to 12 games, one shy of his career high.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press