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Reds' rookies Votto, Shearn shine against Mets

Sep 5, 2007 - 9:46 PM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Rookies Joey Votto and Tom Shearn have not appeared intimidated by their new surroundings.

Votto highlighted a three-hit game with his first career home run and Shearn threw six strong innings as the Cincinnati Reds posted a 7-0 victory over the New York Mets to avoid a three-game series sweep on Wednesday.

Brandon Phillips, rookie Josh Hamilton and Edwin Encarnacion all drove in a pair of runs for Cincinnati, which snapped a five-game losing streak.

The Reds' top offensive prospect, Votto made the most of his first career start, going 3-for-3 with a walk. In 133 games with Class AAA Louisville, the Canadian hit .294 with 22 home runs and 92 RBI.

"I hope Joey Votto doesn't think it is that easy," Cincinnati interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "You don't want to judge a guy on one day but he made a great first impression. He hung in against a tough lefty too."

It did not take long for Votto, who will turn 24 on Monday, to display his outstanding talent with the bat.

"I was nervous until I took the throw on the first play of the game," Votto said. "That play didn't seem like much but it helped me relax. Then it was just baseball."

After striking out against Guillermo Mota as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning of Tuesday's 11-7 loss in his first career at-bat, Votto had very few problems with John Maine on Wednesday. He drilled a 1-1 pitch over the center field fence in the second inning for a 3-0 lead.

"The at-bat last night helped me relax," Votto said. "I have never faced Maine but I watched some tape. I watched how he pitched (the lefthanded Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr.) I watched how he pitched Hamilton, who is similar to me.

"Once I hit the ball and saw Carlos Beltran turn around I thought I may have one. Then I told myself not to smile just put my head down and run. Around third I was wondering how they would greet me in the dugout. Whether they'd give me high fives or ignore me."

The bench stood up but was motionless and created a little aisle for Votto to walk down before slapping him on the head.

In the fourth, Votto walked before scoring on a two-run base hit by Hamilton that pushed the lead to 5-0. The first baseman also singled in the fifth and the seventh.

Shearn (2-0) continued his surprising showing with the Reds, despite not making his major league debut until two days before his 30th birthday.

Winning his first start with seven solid innings in a 9-3 win over the Florida Marlins on August 26, Shearn shut down a Mets' lineup that was without Jose Reyes, Paul Lo Duca, Moises Alou and the injured Carlos Delgado.

"I saw that lineup last night," Shearn said. "I was hoping a couple of those guys would get a day off. Javy (Valentin) called a great game. He knows all the hitters. I just threw what he told me to.

"I was mad at myself early for falling behind hitters but I made pitches when I had to to get ground balls. Then I just relaxed and hit my spots."

Shearn allowed three hits and three walks with three strikeouts as he combined with three relievers on just Cincinnati's second shutout in its last 27 games.

"Shearn threw extremely well, like he did his first game," Mackanin said. "He's got enough stuff to be successful. He can change speeds on the curveball. He will throw it in any count. He has good location. He does all those things we talk about."

Shearn spent 12 years in the minor leagues, sitting out 2003 season with "Tommy John" surgery.

"I'm happy to be here," Shearn said. "I hope that I can open some eyes."

For Maine (14-9), Wednesday's contest proved to be a rare poor showing on the road.

The righthander finished six runs and nine hits allowed in 4 1/3 innings for his first loss away from home since August 4. Maine entered the contest 9-2 with a 3.24 ERA in his previous 13 starts on the road.

It was bad right from the start for Maine, who gave up a one-out single to Alex Gonzalez before Phillips blasted a two-run homer two batters later.

It was the 28th home run of the season for Phillips, who moved past Joe Morgan for the most homers by a Reds second baseman in franchise history. Morgan had 27 in 1976.

"It's an honor," Phillips said. "It was the last thing on my mind though. I have a lot of respect for him but I have to do what I have to do. It is nice to get a win and a record at the same time."

Phillips needs two home runs and three stolen bases to become the Reds' third player with 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season. Barry Larkin was the last to do it in 1996.

"My goal was to hit 20 and steal 20 but I went to Ken Griffey's boat one day this spring and he told me that I could be 30-30," Phillips said.

If Phillips does reach the milestone he can in some part thank the Mets. In seven games, the 26-year-old has four home runs and three steals on four attempts.

"I don't know why," said Phillips about his power display against the National League East's top team. "I just try to hit it where they pitch it."

Encarnacion, who had three hits, singled home a run in the fifth inning and ripped an RBI double in the seventh to round out the scoring.

Carlos Beltran had one of three singles for the Mets, who had a five-game winning streak snapped.

"It was a tough road trip," New York manager Willie Randolph said. "It would have been nice to go home with a sweep but I'm proud of the way the boys finished. They could have given up the way it started. They showed a lot of heart and character."

The loss did not prove to costly for the Mets, as the Philadelphia Phillies remained five games back in the NL East. The Phillies had an 8-2 lead heading into the eighth inning of their series finale at the Atlanta Braves before losing, 9-8, on a game-winning, three-run double by Matt Diaz.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    NY METS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
    CINCINNATI 2 1 0 2 1 0 1 0 x 7 14 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: NYM - JOHN MAINE, WILLIE COLLAZO (5TH), PHILIP HUMBER (7TH) AND MIKE
    DIFELICE
    CIN - TOM SHEARN, MARCUS MCBETH (7TH), JARED BURTON
    (8TH), MIKE STANTON (9TH) AND JAV

    Sep 5 3:14 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY EDWIN ENCARNACION SCORED ADAM DUNN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E ENCARNACION ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 0
    CINCINNATI 7 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J VOTTO (.667, 2-FOR-2, BB, HR, RBI)

    Mets vs. RedsSep 5 2:44 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY EDWIN ENCARNACION SCORED ADAM DUNN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E ENCARNACION ON FIRST, J VALENTIN ON
    SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 0
    CINCINNATI 6 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J VOTTO (.500, 1-FOR-1, BB, HR, RBI)

    Mets vs. RedsSep 5 2:03 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSH HAMILTON SCORED EDWIN ENCARNACION AND JOEY
    VOTTO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J HAMILTON ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 0
    CINCINNATI 5 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: A GONZALEZ (.274, 1-FOR-2)

    Mets vs. RedsSep 5 1:41 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOEY VOTTO (1) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF JOHN MAINE.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 0, CINCINNATI 3
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: T SHEARN (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Mets vs. RedsSep 5 1:05 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY BRANDON PHILLIPS (28) TO RIGHT WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 1ST OFF JOHN MAINE SCORED ALEX GONZALEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 0, CINCINNATI 2
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: A DUNN (.266, 36 HR, 95 RBI)

    Mets vs. RedsSep 5 12:49 PM