Mets-Brewers Preview

Shaun Marcum turned in two winning seasons in Milwaukee. He

hopes his first return to Miller Park since leaving the Brewers

helps him earn a victory when he takes the ball for the New York

Mets on Saturday night.

Marcum (1-9, 5.03 ERA) was a combined 20-11 for the Brewers the

past two years with ERAs under 4.00 in both, but he hasn’t been

nearly as effective in 2013.

The Mets (36-47) have picked up wins in his last two starts

after dropping nine of the first 11. Marcum followed up eight

scoreless innings in winning his previous start by allowing three

runs in six innings of a 5-4, 13-inning victory over the Chicago

White Sox on Monday.

Marcum, who would have the lowest run-support average in the

league if he had enough innings to qualify, has gotten 19 runs in

his 13 starts.

His fortunes could change Saturday as the Mets appear to be

coming around offensively, recording double-digit hits in five

straight games, the first time they’ve done that since July

2011.

New York’s Kirk Nieuwenhuis set career highs with four hits and

five RBIs to help power Friday’s 12-5 win. He’s gone 8 for 13 over

the past four games.

“I don’t know if I have ever done it. It feels great,”

Nieuwenhuis said. “I have just been trying to stay more direct to

the ball. Other than that, relaxing at the plate.”

Teammate Eric Young has gone 21 for 63 in his last 14 games, and

Ike Davis had three hits Friday in his return to the major

leagues.

The Mets have won three straight and nine of 13 away from home,

posting a 2.45 ERA while holding opponents to a .190 batting

average with runners in scoring position.

Milwaukee has lost eight of 10, though its bats are also

beginning to heat up. The Brewers (34-51) have scored 23 runs in

the past five games after managing 11 in the previous five.

Carlos Gomez has six hits in his last nine at-bats while

Norichika Aoki is 11 for 25 (.440) during a five-game hitting

streak.

The Brewers’ fielding continues to be a problem, however, as

they made three more errors Friday to give them 13 in the past 10

games.

”We sure didn’t play well,” manager Ron Roenicke said.

Yovani Gallardo (6-8, 4.78) looks to recover from his worst

start of the season Monday, when he allowed a season-high eight

runs in three innings of a 10-5 loss at Washington.

The right-hander has posted a 6.64 ERA in his last four starts

versus New York, which has batted .326 against him in that

span.

David Wright is 3 for 16 with eight strikeouts against

Gallardo.