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Mets At Reds: Mets Go To Work Minus Carlos Beltran

(Sports Network) – Towering right-hander Mike Pelfrey can make it three straight wins for New York in Cincinnati tonight when the Mets visit the host Reds in game three of a four-game matchup at Great American Ball Park.

A 6-foot-7, 230-pounder out of Wichita State, Pelfrey won his fifth game of the season at Los Angeles on July 5, tossing six shutout innings with five hits allowed in a 6-0 defeat of the Dodgers.

He’s gone 0-2 in three starts since, allowing a combined 19 hits and 10 runs in 17 innings against San Francisco (loss), Philadelphia (loss) and Florida (no-decision).

Pelfrey has faced the Reds seven times in his career and won three times in five decisions while allowing 24 earned runs in 37 innings.

The Mets took a 2-0 lead in the series Tuesday, when Jason Pridie hit a go- ahead two-run double in the sixth and the Mets took advantage of three Cincinnati errors to down the Reds, 8-6.

Daniel Murphy went 3-for-4 with two RBI for the Mets.

Jon Niese (10-8) earned the win despite surrendering five runs in as many innings.

Tim Byrdak retired one batter in the ninth to record his first save since July 25, 2007.

Let down by his defense, Johnny Cueto (6-4) allowed six unearned runs on seven hits over five-plus innings to suffer the loss.

Joey Votto belted a two-run homer.

For Cincinnati, righty Bronson Arroyo aims for a first win since June 25 amid a streak of two losses and two no-decisions in four starts.

The Key West, Fla. native took the third of three straight decisions with a 10-5 interleague win at Baltimore, allowing nine hits and five runs in 6 1/3 innings.

He’s faced Cleveland, St. Louis (twice) and Atlanta since, allowing four or more runs in each start while surrendering nine, six, eight and nine hits, respectively.

He is 7-2 in 11 career starts against the Mets, posting a 3.31 earned run average in 81 2/3 innings.

The Reds took four of six from the Mets last year.