Brewers 8, Mets 7
NEW YORK (AP)
He retired the three batters that burned him Tuesday night, and Milwaukee, behind Prince Fielder's RBI single and Carlos Gomez's hustle in the eighth inning, rallied for an 8-7 victory over the New York Mets Wednesday night after squandering a six-run lead in the first game of a doubleheader.
''Bullpen coach Stan Kyles said, '''I'm sure you want to face these guys again', and I definitely did,'' Axford said. ''I wanted to get back out there and get back on it for sure.''
Axford struck out Ike Davis, got Josh Thole to fly to left and struck out Ruben Tejada to end it for his 23rd save. A night earlier, Axford gave up hits to all three, and Tejada's two-run double won it 4-3.
In between games of the twi-night double header, Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran said he was going to miss the rest of the season because an MRI showed he had mild inflamation in his surgically repaired right knee.
''I'm happy actually the MRI shows the knee's better,'' he said. ''I'm happy for that part. The part that I'm not happy about is just that I wanted to finish the season playing but by the recommendation by the doctor they don't want me to play.''
Trailing 7-6 with one out in the eighth pinch-hitter Carlos Gomez walked, stole second and advanced to third when rookie catcher Mike Nickeas' errant throw went into center field. He scored on Corey Hart's tapper off Manny Acosta (3-2) between the mound and third base with two outs in the eighth.
Ryan Braun hit another infield single and Hisanori Takahashi relieved. Fielder followed with a sharp single to give the Brewers the lead.
Just several hundred fans were in the stands at Citi Field for the high-scoring early innings of the opener of the twi-night doubleheader made necessary by a rainout Monday.
The teams combined for 20 hits and 13 runs in the first four innings. The Brewers scored six in the third to stake Gallardo a 6-0 lead before the Mets rallied. Braun, scratched from Tuesday's game with a stomach virus was the only Milwaukee position player without a hit in the big inning.
Gallardo, the Brewers ace who had been dominant in four September starts (3-0, 1.95 ERA), gave up a two-run single in the third to Chris Carter, and the Mets scored five more in the fourth.
Jose Reyes hit an RBI triple, his 10th three-base hit, and jumped up from his head-first slide and dashed home when second baseman Rickie Weeks' relay to third skipped past Casey McGehee for an error. Lucas Duda followed with a homer to right and Wright connected for his 28th homer of the season for a 7-6 lead.
The Mets used seven relievers after the Brewers' hit parade in the third quickly dashed Jonathon Niese's attempt to become the first New York rookie to win 10 games since Rick Aguilera won that many in 1985.
After Gallardo struck out, Weeks and Hart hit back-to-back doubles for the first run. Then with two outs, the Brewers put together five straight hits for five more runs. Fielder, Jonathan Lucroy and Luis Cruz had RBIs, and Lorenzo Cain drove in two runs. Cruz's hit knocked out Niese in his shortest outing since May 16, when he went two innings against Florida.
Niese, one of the bright spots this season for the disappointing Mets, has showed signs of tiring down the stretch in his first full big league season. He dropped to 1-6 with an 8.01 ERA in his last seven starts. The 23-year-old left-hander pitched 2 2-3 innings Tuesday, bringing his total for the season to 173 2-3 - up from 120 in the minors and majors last year - and gave up six runs and 10 hits.
''My body didn't really feel fatigued much,'' Niese said. ''It's really mentally fatigued more than anything.''
NOTES: Each team left nine on base. ... Angel Pagan was back in the Mets lineup after his daughter had eye surgery Wednesday morning. He stole his 36th base. ... The Brewers were playing their first doubleheader since being swept by Philadelphia on Sept 14, 2008. ... The Mets swept the Dodgers in April and split two with the Padres in June, both at home. ... Nickeas got his first big league hit in the second.