Mets look to muzzle Griffey, Reds

The Mets dodged a bullet on Sunday when Ken Griffey Jr. slugged his 500th career home run, thus relieving Shea Stadium of what was sure to be an overflow media circus. <P> But while St. Louis' Matt Morris removed some of the pressure of becoming a historical footnote off of Mets pitchers, New York must still find a way to contend with Griffey and a surprising Reds club that has averaged 5.6 runs over their last 12 games.

Griffey and teammate Adam Dunn are each looking for their 20th home run of the season on Tuesday, and Matt Ginter heads to the hill looking to spoil the fun and continue his effective ways. Ginter has just one victory as a Met this season, but the mark is deceptive.

The righthander, who has been a steal for the Mets since coming over from the White Sox in the Timo Perez deal, has been a victim of poor run support. He made three starts where he allowed two runs or less, including a six-inning shutout performance on May 26, and didn't receive a decision in any of the three games.

However, Ginter wasn't quite so successful in his last start. He was tagged for five runs (three earned) in a 9-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians at Shea last Wednesday, his first losing decision of the season. Two of the runs scored as inherited runners, when reliever Mike Stanton allowed a two-run single to Omar Vizquel in the sixth inning.

Cincinnati counters with former Met Paul Wilson, who has stunned everyone with a resurgent season for the Reds. The Mets will be looking to spoil Wilson's fun by smearing his 7-0 start for Cincinnati, which should have been even more impressive if not for blown saves in each of Wilson's last three starts.

NOTES: Reliever Orber Moreno is expected to return from the disabled list Wednesday. Moreno threw 30 pitches in an ugly rehab appearance for the Gulf Coast League Mets Tuesday, allowing three runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning. Reliever Scott Strickland pitched a scoreless inning in the same game.

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