NEW YORK (AP) - D.J. Carrasco was already on thin ice with the Mets after precipitating some drama the night before.
When he gave up a two-run homer to Todd Frazier with his first pitch on Wednesday night, that may well have been the last straw for one of the most struggling pitchers in a struggling bullpen. The 35-year-old right-hander was designated for assignment shortly after New York's 6-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.
``It's pretty self-explanatory,' Carrasco said. ``I would have done the same thing if I were the general manager.'
On Tuesday night, Carrasco hit Milwaukee's Ryan Braun with a pitch, prompting manager Terry Collins to take David Wright out of a game in which the Mets trailed 8-0, to avoid retaliation. Wright and his manager had an animated discussion in the dugout about it, but both said everything was fine on Wednesday.
``He wasn't angry at me, he was angry at the situation,' Collins said Wednesday. ``I'm not surprised he reacted the way he did. He knew it was his job to take one.'
Said Wright: ``Everything's good. Everything's good. Done and over with.'
Frazier homered twice and Brandon Phillips hit a tying single off Jon Rauch in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Jay Bruce drove in the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly one out after the Reds put together three straight hits off Rauch (3-2), ending with Phillips' single.
Rauch retired Chris Heisey on a popup before left-hander Tim Byrdak came on to face the lefty-hitting Bruce. After that, Carrasco came on and gave up Frazier's second homer on his first pitch.
``I'm out there to stop the bleeding and protect the lead,' Rauch said. ``I just didn't get it done.'
The Mets bullpen ERA rose to 5.13, among the worst in the major leagues.
Jose Arredondo (3-1) pitched a perfect inning of relief for the Reds. Sean Marshall gave up a hit in the ninth but finished for his seventh save.
``We're in New York and Yogi Berra said if you ain't got a bullpen you ain't got nothing,' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ``Yogi was right, big time. You've got to have a bullpen.'
Mike Leake struck out a season-high five in six innings for the Reds.
Ike Davis snapped an 0-for-16 skid with a go-ahead double in the sixth inning, but the Mets' bullpen coughed up the lead for the ninth time in 20 chances this year, sending New York to its third loss in four games and giving starter Johan Santana his fifth no-decision in eight starts.
Frazier hit a solo homer off Santana in the top of the seventh after the Mets took a 3-1 lead. Bobby Parnell came on with two outs to strike out Zack Cozart with a runner on second. Parnell, who hasn't allowed an earned run in more than eight innings, didn't come back out for the eighth.
Leake remained winless in seven starts. He looked shaky early, but held the Mets to a run through six innings until first baseman Joey Votto's error opened the door.
After Lucas Duda's leadoff single, Votto fielded Daniel Murphy's grounder and attempted to start a double play with an underhand fling in the general direction of second base while falling down. The ball went way into left field, and runners were safe on the corners. Davis then hit the first pitch from his former Arizona State teammate down the line for an RBI double.
Mike Nickeas laid down a successful squeeze bunt and Murphy sprinted home. Santana, who had thrown 95 pitches to that point, batted with two outs. He popped up and came out to pitch the top of the seventh.
Duda hit a tying single in the third to bring up Murphy, who grounded out to end the first with two runners on. Against Leake, who had struggled to throw strikes and was coming off the shortest start of his career, Murphy and Davis each flied out on the first pitch.
Leake singled with two outs in the third and motored home on Zack Cozart's double into the left field corner. He just beat the relay throw from Wright, the third baseman, sliding in ahead of Nickeas' tag. His momentum caused him to pop to his feet, and then he stumbled and plopped gently face down on the Mets logo behind the plate, where he remained for a beat before he stood up, smiling.
NOTES: The Mets recalled LHP Robert Carson from Double-A Binghamton to replace Carrasco. ... Murphy's 11-game hitting streak came to an end. ... Major League Baseball announced that the 2013 All-Star game will be hosted by the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 16. The Mets last hosted the All-Stars in 1964. ... The Reds visited Citi Field for a two-game series, before remaining in New York for the weekend to play the Yankees. They're the first team to play both New York teams in the same trip since interleague play began. Other teams have previously doubled up on the White Sox and Cubs, Angels and Dodgers, and Athletics and Giants. ... Mets C Josh Thole (concussion) was cleared to begin non-baseball exercises. ... Mets LF Mike Baxter made a diving catch on Cozart in the fifth to take away extra bases.
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