Jason Bay's bad injury luck continued Friday night. The leftfielder suffered what the Mets called a "possible concussion" when he crashed headfirst into the leftfield wall while trying to make a diving catch on an inside-the-park home run by Jay Bruce.
With his history of concussions, Bay's second-inning injury overshadowed the Mets' 7-3 loss to the Reds at Citi Field.
"Jason Bay is one of the finest people I will ever have on my team," an emotional Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I just hope he gets out of this and recovers. I'm pretty concerned about it right now."
Bronson Arroyo (3-4) pitched six innings, former Met Wilson Valdez drove in three runs and Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer off Dillon Gee (4-5) as the Mets had their three-game winning streak snapped by the NL Central leaders.
But their immediate concern was for Bay, who has been plagued by health problems and poor performance since signing a four-year, $66-million contract with the Mets. He is signed through next season with a vesting option for 2014.
Bay dived on the warning track in an attempt to catch the leadoff drive by Bruce. Bay awkwardly slid headfirst into the wall and was down for a time as Bruce circled the bases. Bay eventually got up and threw the ball in to David Wright, but the relay throw home was late as Bruce scored the game's first run.
Bay remained on his feet as Collins and trainer Ray Ramirez ran out to check on him. "He said he was dizzy," Collins said. "I asked him what he did and he said he hit his head. I said, 'Well, you're done.' He said, 'Let me try it.' I said, 'Not with the past.' " He was replaced by Scott Hairston.
"I felt terrible for Jason," Collins said. "As he always does, he just plays the game one way -- all out."
Bay, 33, missed the final two months of the 2010 season because of a concussion after crashing into the leftfield wall on July 23 at Dodgers Stadium.
Bay had returned to the lineup only a week earlier after a six-week stint on the disabled list with a fractured rib. He came into the game batting .187 but had shown signs of breaking out. He homered against Tampa Bay on Thursday.
Bay was driven home after getting checked out at the ballpark and almost certainly will go on the seven-day concussion disabled list as the Mets assess his condition. Justin Turner, who has recovered from a sprained ankle, will replace Bay on the roster.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered in the sixth inning -- his third in two days -- and Hairston hit a two-run home run in the seventh, but it wasn't enough.
Bruce's home run gave the Reds a 1-0 lead against Gee. A second run came home in the inning when Hairston bobbled Ryan Ludwick's double in the leftfield corner for an error, allowing Todd Frazier to score.
Gee was charged with four runs (three earned) in six innings. He hit Joey Votto in the back with one out in the third before Phillips smacked a two-run homer to left-center to make it 4-1.
Sean Marshall later grazed Wright with a pitch with two outs in the eighth.
On Wright getting hit, Collins said he was "not surprised." He said there was no intent to hit Votto.