Reds on wrong end of wild 9th inning, lose to Mets

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NEW YORK (AP) - Nothing went right for the Cincinnati Reds in the ninth inning.

Fill-in closer J.J. Hoover couldn’t find the plate. First baseman Joey Votto made a risky choice on a bunt. Even a replay challenge went against them.

It all added up to another loss that has the Reds off to their worst start in more than a decade.

Pinch-hitter Ike Davis hit a game-ending grand slam and the New York Mets were aided by a favorable ninth-inning video review in rallying to beat the Reds 6-3 Saturday.

“Things just didn’t work, nothing worked,” first-year manager Bryan Price said. “We just weren’t able to close it out.”

An inning earlier it appeared the Reds were on track to avoid dropping to 1-4, a record they last had in 2003 when they finished 69-93.

Brandon Phillips had given the Reds a 3-2 lead with a two-run homer off Dillon Gee in the eighth, two innings after Curtis Granderson connected for a two-run drive off Johnny Cueto, his first homer with the Mets.

But with Aroldis Chapman out until at least May after being hit above the eye with a line drive in spring training and Jonathan Broxton still recovering from August right forearm surgery, Hoover was called upon to finish it off.

He promptly walked Juan Lagares to start the ninth.

“That leadoff walk - didn’t give myself any chance really,” Hoover said.

Anthony Recker bunted and, instead of taking the easy out, Votto, the first baseman, threw to second base for the force play. Second base umpire James Hoye called Lagares out and Mets manager Terry Collins raced out of the dugout to ask for a challenge.

After a review of 2 minutes, 14 seconds, the call was overturned by crew chief John Hirschbeck.

“They got it right and as frustrating as it was we anticipated we were gonna get the switch,” Price said.

Hoover (1-1) then walked Ruben Tejada to load the bases.

Davis, having lost his starting first base job to Lucas Duda a day earlier, was called on to hit in the pitcher’s spot and lined a 0-1 pitch to right field, setting off a gleeful celebration at Citi Field.

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