NEW YORK — David Wright tossed his bat to the ground, then slammed his batting gloves into his helmet. He stood with his hands on his hips, an exasperated look on his face.
By the time Wright hit a routine flyball to end the eighth inning, he'd already seen this game slip away.
The All-Star third baseman let a bases-loaded grounder skip through his legs with two outs in the opening inning Tuesday night and the Cincinnati Reds parlayed that misplay into a 4-0 win over New York.
"When things aren't going so great, one play like that can cost you a game and it did today," Wright said.
Mike Leake pitched three-hit ball for seven sharp innings and Devin Mesoraco homered as the Reds won for the ninth time in 11 games.
Leake (4-2) struck out four, walked two and became the latest pitcher to shut down the Mets at Citi Field. New York has lost 10 of 12 at home, rarely scoring many runs.
"At this point we're not really getting many opportunities with runners in scoring position. So it's not about getting a big hit, it's about getting some runners out there and putting some pressure on the defense, putting some pressure on the pitcher because they're having 1-2-3 innings pretty regularly," Wright said.
Jonathon Niese (3-5) wasn't charged with an earned run, but he hurt himself with continuing control troubles. He walked three, all on full counts in the opening inning.
Niese set down the first two batters of the night before Joey Votto walked, Brandon Phillips looped a single and Jay Bruce walked.
Todd Frazier followed with a hard grounder right at Wright, and the ball bounced under his glove and let two runs score. Earlier this season, Wright ran his errorless streak to 77 games, a team record for third basemen.
"It was hit sharply and just got a tricky in-between hop. I looked at the replay and trying to learn what I could have done differently and really couldn't do much," he said. "Just wish the ball would have found the glove because Jon Niese settled in and was fantastic those next five innings and really did a nice job saving the bullpen. So I wish I could have made that one."
Mets manager Terry Collins was as surprised as anyone.
"You don't ever see that. You don't ever see that. All it tells you is everybody's a human and things happen. I tell you, in my three years, I don't think I've ever seen a ball go through his legs," Collins said.
Donald Lutz beat out an infield hit that reloaded the bases and Mesoraco drew another walk that forced home a run. Niese struck out Leake to end an inning in which he threw 48 pitches, and walked to the dugout holding his glove in his pitching hand.
"Right now we're not playing very good baseball," Wright said. "It's asking a lot of your starting pitcher to go out there and put up zero after zero because the offense is not doing what we're capable of doing."
"You know that the way things are kind of going now that you have to play a near-perfect game to get a win. And obviously that's not a good feeling, because you have to go out there and be able to make mistakes and still win games. And we're not there right now," he said.
Leake escaped his biggest jam by retiring slumping Ike Davis on a grounder with runners on second and third to end the fourth. Davis is hitless in his last 24 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Relievers Sam LeCure and Logan Ondrusek each threw a hitless inning to complete the shutout.
"We've got a handful of guys that kind of are cold at the same time and obviously that's not ideal because we're not able to kind of stretch out the lineup," Wright said.
Mesoraco hit reliever Collin McHugh's first pitch in the ninth for his second home run.
NOTES: Mets ace RHP Matt Harvey (5-0, 1.55 ERA) starts Wednesday afternoon vs. RHP Mat Latos (4-0, 2.91). ... The win made the Reds 146-145 all-time when visiting the Mets, including games at the Polo Grounds, Shea Stadium and Citi Field. ... Niese struck out seven. He has walked 27 and fanned 31 this season. ... The Mets have scored three runs or less in nine straight home games.