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Bailey solid, strikes out seven over 6 2/3

After winning three consecutive starts to end May, Reds right-hander Homer Bailey hasn't seen the same type of success to begin June.

In two starts, he is 0-1 after allowing a combined nine earned runs over 9 2/3 innings.

The 26-year-old will try to get back on track and lead the Reds to their fifth straight victory when he faces the Mets on Saturday in the second game of the sole National League series this weekend.

Bailey didn't pitch terribly in his last outing, but he received a no-decision Sunday against the Tigers, surrendering three runs in 6 2/3 innings. He was taken out of the game with a comfortable lead, but the bullpen allowed four runs to blow the victory.

"It felt like my velocity was still pretty good and I was making some pitches in that last inning," Bailey said after the game. "It wasn't my decision and with all the confidence I had in our bullpen, why would you argue with it? Those guys have been picking us up all year. It's funny how the cards fall some days."

Throwing for the Mets will be lefty Jon Niese, who turned in a solid start of his own last time out, but the Mets' bullpen also let him down in the end.

Niese allowed two runs -- both unearned -- over seven innings against the Yankees, but the Mets ended up losing, 5-4.

On Niese's side is first baseman Ike Davis, who went 7-for-12 with seven RBIs in the Mets' last series against the Rays. He went 1-for-2 Friday with a walk and a run.

"I'm just seeing the ball a little better, and that's about it," Davis said. "I've just got to keep having good at-bats and seeing what happens."

Reds: Center fielders mending
With center fielders Drew Stubbs and Chris Heisey both injured, manager Dusty Baker is struggling to find help at the position.

Heisey is nursing a mild left groin strain after he said he felt tightness when he crossed the plate in the fourth inning of Cincinnati's win against the Indians on Thursday. Stubbs' recovery from an oblique injury has been slowed by a flu-like virus making its way through the Reds' clubhouse.

"Right now, we're kind of mixing and matching," Baker said. "It really hurts when you've got both center fielders down. Most teams are lucky to have two. We have a real good one in Stubbs, and Heisey plays a real good center field."

As a result of the injuries, Wilson Valdez made his third career appearance in center field Friday in New York and went 2-for-5 with three RBIs.

"For me, it's all the same," Valdez said. "You have to go out there with the mindset of doing whatever you have to do to help the team win."

Mets: No no-hitter
Major League Baseball on Friday upheld the official scorer's ruling from Wednesday's game against the Rays, denying the Mets' quest to have R.A. Dickey join Johan Santana as the only pitchers in franchise history to toss a no-hitter.

"It was nice that the Mets wanted to do it," Dickey said of the appeal. "It wasn't ever my idea in the first place. But in truth, I'm fairly relieved that it ended up the way that it did."

The Rays' only hit in Wednesday's 9-1 Mets victory came in the first inning, when third baseman David Wright unsuccessfully attempted to barehand B.J. Upton's slow roller down the line.

"David normally makes that play," manager Terry Collins said. "Once in a while, you don't. And if it was his decision that he had to barehand it, then he's making the right play, because he knows how to play third. It was just, hey look, we had a shot at a no-hitter. My pitcher's never had a no-hitter. So you throw your hand up and you give it a shot."

Worth noting
• The Mets saw their franchise-record streak of 36 straight games with a double come to an end Friday.

• Through 63 games, the Reds have used only five starting pitchers (Bronson Arroyo, Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake). It is the Reds' longest such streak to open a season since 1992.

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