Oliver “Coin Flip” Perez lived up to his media- and fan-imposed nickname by being lights out with four strikeouts in the first two innings. But he turned into Mr. Hyde, to mix metaphors, in the third inning when he gave up four runs after being given a 3-0 lead.
The meltdown was complete in the fifth inning where he retired only one batter and allowed another four runs, eventually putting the game out of reach. He ended up giving up five walks, seven strikeouts, eight earned runs and five hits, one a homer to Reds first baseman Joey Votto. Votto had a monster series with two home runs, seven hits, four runs and seven RBI.
The Mets first three runs in the third came thanks to an RBI single by Carlos Beltran and a two-RBI double by Ryan Church. The Mets then tied up the game in the fifth when Carlos Delgado knocked in a run. After Perez gave up the lead again in the fifth, the Mets tried to chip away at the lead. Delgado and Alex Cora drove in the last two runs.
Gary Sheffield made his Mets debut as a pinch hitter in the ninth but struck out. Jose Reyes, Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Ryan Church each had two hits.
The Mets next travel back down to Florida to face the Marlins at 7:10 p.m. Friday. John Maine takes the mound.