Phillips breaks Morgan's mark for HRs by Reds 2B

" Unsung hero: Tom Shearn, a 30-year-old rookie finally getting his shot in the majors, gave up just three hits in six innings to get the win. Shearn has gotten nice run support in his first three outings. The Reds have scored 11 runs in the first inning in his three starts (six in his debut, three in his next start, two today).

" Bat man: Joey Votto homered for his first major league hit. The 23-year-old first baseman is the Reds' top hitting prospect, winning the Southern League's MVP last year. He also added a pair of singles.

" B team: The Mets were without five regulars in their lineup as manager Willie Randolph gave several starters, including Jose Reyes, a day off. In addition, Carlos Delgado was sent for a precautionary medical test to make sure a hip injury he suffered Tuesday night isn't serious.

" Quotable: "First of all, I hope Joey Votto doesn't think it's going to be that easy. Or, maybe it will be that easy." -- Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin

-- ESPN.com news services

Reds 7, Mets 0

CINCINNATI (AP) -- At first, Brandon Phillips didn't know why he
was going into the Cincinnati Reds record book.

Phillips broke the Reds' single-season record for homers by a
second baseman Wednesday, hitting a two-run shot during a 7-0
victory that ended the New York Mets' five-game winning streak.

Phillips' 28th homer in the first inning off John Maine (14-9)
surpassed Hall of Famer Joe Morgan's previous club mark. Phillips
also homered in his last at-bat on Tuesday night, when he learned
for the first time about Morgan's record.

"It's an honor," Phillips said. "I can't say that was on my
mind. He is a great player, a Hall of Famer. I have a lot of
respect for him."

The Mets got mixed news after the game. First baseman Carlos
Delgado is expected to be sidelined for a week to 10 days after
tests showed he strained muscles in his right hip on a swing
Tuesday night. But the NL East leaders remained five games ahead of
second-place Philadelphia when Atlanta rallied past the Phillies

Tom Shearn (2-0), a 30-year-old rookie still relishing his first
call-up to the big leagues, gave up three hits in six innings to a
Mets lineup missing five regulars. New York managed only three hits
overall and didn't get a runner past second base.

Top prospect Joey Votto also homered for his first major league
hit, helping the Reds emerge from a five-game losing streak that
ended all talk of them sneaking back into contention in September.

The Mets got swept in a four-game series in Philadelphia last
week, letting the Phillies pull within two games. Instead of
getting tight, the Mets got on their best run of the season.

"Now we're coming back to our place and we've got a shot,"
Maine said.

They won five in a row before their loss Wednesday, putting
themselves back in control. The Mets' best winning streak of the
season was the result of a top-to-bottom offensive splurge -- 46
runs over a six-game span.

"I'm proud of the boys for finishing the way they did,"
manager Willie Randolph said. "It would have been easy to give in
with the way things started [in Philadelphia], but they showed a
lot of heart and character. We'll take a definite positive from

After nearly a week of New York running the bases nonstop,
Randolph decided to give some of his regulars a day off.
Moises Alou, Shawn Green, Paul Lo Duca and Jose Reyes were out of the
starting lineup for a day game following a night game.

The Reds enjoyed a victory that featured Phillips' noteworthy
homer and good showings by two players right out of the minors -- an
up-and-coming prospect and a thirtysomething pitcher who fretted
that he'd never get this far.

Votto's first homer was a hint of things to come. The
23-year-old first baseman is the Reds' top hitting prospect,
winning the Southern League's MVP last year. He hit a solo homer
off the facing of the batter's eye in center field in the second
inning, humbly rounding the bases while looking at the ground.

Teammates ignored him in the dugout, a traditional hazing for a
first homer. Votto grinned as he walked past them, then was
surrounded for congratulations.

"Oh, man, what a great day," said Votto, who also had a pair
of singles.

Interim manager Pete Mackanin batted Votto eighth to take the
pressure off. It turned out to be a good move.

"First of all, I hope Joey Votto doesn't think it's going to be
that easy," Mackanin said. "Or, maybe it will be that easy."

Edwin Encarnacion also had three hits and drove in a pair of
runs, helping Shearn get another serendipitous victory. The
right-hander spent 12 years in the minors -- one of them recovering
from elbow surgery -- and was living in the groundskeeper's camper
at Triple-A Louisville when he got his long-awaited promotion on
Aug. 26.

Shearn was glad to see the Mets resting much of a lineup that
scored 21 runs and hit six homers in the first two games of the

"Especially a day game after a night game, I was hoping their
bats would be a little slow," Shearn said. "When I saw that
lineup they had out there last night, I was hoping some of those
guys would get the day off.

Game notes
Maine lasted only 4 1/3 innings, his second-shortest start
of the season. He gave up nine hits and six runs. ... Votto's homer
came in his second major league at-bat. He pinch-hit on Tuesday
night and struck out. ... Votto is the third Reds player to homer
for his first big league hit this season. OF Josh Hamilton and C
Ryan Jorgensen also did it. ... Morgan hit 27 homers in 1976, when
the Big Red Machine won its second straight World Series title.