Mets 12, Brewers 5
Coming off a heartbreaking 15-inning loss one day earlier, the
New York Mets got a much-needed offensive outburst from an
Kirk Nieuwenhuis drove in a career-best five runs, and Zack
Wheeler allowed one earned run over five shaky innings to pace the
Mets to a 12-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday
”Tremendous night for Kirk Nieuwenhuis,” Mets manager Terry
Collins said. ”Absolutely tremendous night. He picked us up.”
Nieuwenhuis, who entered the game hitting .179 in 56 at-bats
after being recalled from Triple A Las Vegas on June 9, raised his
average to .233 with his first four-hit game.
He had a triple, a double, two singles and two walks, becoming
the first Mets player to reach base six times in a nine-inning game
since Mike Piazza on May 27, 2000.
”I don’t know if I have ever done it. It feels great,” said
Nieuwenhuis, whose 14th-inning homer tied Thursday’s game against
Arizona that the Mets lost in the 15th. ”I have just been trying
to stay more direct to the ball. Other than that, relaxing at the
Wheeler (2-1) gave up three runs and seven hits and walked
three. He struggled in his two previous starts since pitching six
shutout innings in his major league debut.
”I am happy about my outing even though there were some low
points,” said Wheeler, who escaped a one-out, bases-loaded jam in
the fifth. ”You know throwing 20 pitches an inning and only going
five, but I battled out there as best I could and got a good
Brewers starter Johnny Hellweg (0-2) allowed seven runs in 3 2-3
innings, but only three were earned. He also walked five. He was
rocked for seven runs in 1 2-3 innings in his first major league
start on June 28.
”There were better moments,” said Hellweg, who was 6-0 with a
1.64 ERA in his last seven starts at Triple A Nashville before
being called up. ”I don’t think I’d use the word good, but I did
better than last time.”
Carlos Gomez had four hits for the Brewers, including two RBI
doubles, and robbed pinch-hitter Marlon Byrd of a home run in the
seventh with a leaping grab above the center-field wall.
The Mets hustled their way to three unearned runs in the second
inning for a 5-2 lead, despite hitting only one ball out of the
Omar Quintanilla drew a leadoff walk and advanced on Wheeler’s
sacrifice bunt. Quintanilla moved to third, and Eric Young reached
on an error by shortstop Jean Segura. Daniel Murphy’s high chopper
back to the mound was gloved by the 6-foot-9 Hellweg, but
Quintanilla dived back to third ahead of Hellweg’s throw as Murphy
reached to load the bases.
Ike Davis then drove in a run with a slow-rolling single to
Segura, who had no play. After David Wright lined out to first,
Nieuwenhuis grounded a two-run single to right, just past the glove
of diving second baseman Rickie Weeks.
The Mets made it 7-2 in the fourth with the aid of another
error. Wright walked to open the inning and came around on singles
by Davis and Nieuwenhuis. Davis scored from third on a two-out
error by third baseman Aramis Ramirez.
Nieuwenhuis accounted for another run in the sixth when he
walked, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and came home on
John Buck’s single. He doubled in the eighth and scored on Juan
Lagares’ single to make it 9-4.
Nieuwenhuis tripled in another run in the Mets’ three-run
Juan Francisco opened the fourth with his 11th home run to trim
the Brewers’ deficit to 7-3. Milwaukee scored single runs in the
seventh and eighth on RBI doubles by Gomez and Logan Schafer.
”We sure didn’t play well,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.
”We didn’t pitch well today, we didn’t play well defensively
today. We swung the bats OK. I messed up, too, on a play. So
nothing went right.”
Hellweg’s wildness helped the Mets score twice in the first.
Young singled to open the game and moved to third on Wright’s
one-out single to right. Hellweg then issued consecutive walks to
Davis, who entered hitting .161, and Nieuwenhuis to force in a run.
Wright scored on Lagares’ fielder’s choice.
”He has really good stuff, it’s just a matter of getting ahead
and throwing strikes,” Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said of
Hellweg. ”Sometimes it gets away from him. He gets behind in
counts, and the next thing you know they put good swings on him. We
didn’t exactly make a lot of plays behind him.”
Milwaukee answered with two unearned runs in the bottom of the
inning on an RBI double by Gomez and a sacrifice fly by
NOTES: Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, on the 15-day disabled
list with an injured right thumb, took swings in the indoor cage
Friday. ”I haven’t talked to him since he swung. I talked to
(third base coach) Ed Sedar and he said he swung the bat real well.
I just haven’t asked Ryan how the hand felt,” Roenicke said. Braun
is scheduled to take batting practice on the field Saturday and
Monday. When Braun is ready to be activated, he won’t be sent on a
rehab assignment, Roenicke said. … Wheeler’s two-out single to
right in the third was his first major league hit. . Josh Edgin
pitched the final 1 1-3 innings for his first save in two