Lucas Duda has homered on three of his last four hits, and his latest got the New York Mets a dramatic victory.
They may need more late heroics to beat the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers again considering how they’ve fared against Wily Peralta.
Duda attempts to continue his success at Miller Park as the Mets attempt to solve Peralta for the first time Saturday night.
Duda is 4 for 13 (.308) over the past four games, and three of those hits have left the yard. He homered just twice in his previous 20 games.
The first baseman leads the Mets (49-54) with a career-high 17 homers and hit one in each of the first two matchups of this four-game set, but his latest came in clutch fashion Friday. He capped a three-run ninth by connecting for a two-run shot off former Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez in a 3-2 win.
"It was a pretty special moment," Duda said after New York’s third victory in four games. "I am glad I was able to help pick up the team and get this win."
Duda seems rather comfortable in Milwaukee (58-46), where he has three homers, two doubles and six RBIs in five career games. However, he’s 0 for 4 with two strikeouts against Peralta (11-6, 3.58 ERA), who is aiming to set a career high in wins by helping Milwaukee bounce back from its first loss in five games.
Peralta has won his last two starts in impressive fashion, allowing two runs – one earned – and six hits in 14 innings.
The right-hander could be in for another strong showing since he’s been dominant in winning both of his career starts against the Mets. Peralta held them to a run and four hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 3-1 road victory June 11, and he yielded two hits in eight innings of a 3-0 victory at Miller Park on Sept. 16, 2012.
David Wright is 0 for 6 against Peralta but coming off his third multihit effort in five days.
The Mets will counter with Jonathon Niese (5-5, 3.13), who is looking to show some improvement after struggling in his return from the disabled list. The left-hander, who was out with a strained shoulder, allowed four runs and a season-high 11 hits in six innings of Monday’s 5-2 loss at Seattle.
Perhaps facing the Brewers could help. Niese is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA over his last four starts against them, and both victories came at Miller Park. In his only start versus Milwaukee this year, he yielded one run with eight strikeouts in 7 2-3 innings of a 5-1 loss in 13 on June 12.
He’s held slugger Ryan Braun to 1 for 10 over the past four years, including 0 for 4 with two strikeouts last month.
Braun went 0 for 4 on Friday, snapping a 12-game hitting streak overall and 15-game run at home. He’s still batting .370 with three homers and seven RBIs over his last seven home meetings with the Mets.