Mets-Brewers Preview

Jeremy Hefner got off to a disappointing start to the season,

but has since turned things around and proven to be a reliable

option in the New York Mets’ rotation.

New York hopes Hefner’s run of solid starts continues on Sunday

as they visit the Milwaukee Brewers for the finale of their

three-game series.

Hefner (3-6, 3.54 ERA) opened the season 0-5 with a 4.50 ERA,

with the Mets (36-48) losing all nine of his starts. In seven

starts since, he is 3-1 with a 2.09 ERA with a walk rate of 1.47

per nine innings. The right-hander issued 3.60 base on balls per

nine in his first nine starts.

He held Arizona to a run and four hits over seven innings in a

9-1 win on Tuesday – his seventh quality start in eight games.

“If I give a quality outing, go deep into games, I’ve done my

job,” said Hefner, who yielded a solo homer. “If we score runs,

then I’ll get a win. If we don’t, then I might get a no-decision or

whatever. Just as long as the team wins, I’m happy.”

He’ll look to lock down the Brewers (35-51), who have split

their last six games but continued to swing the bats well in a 7-6

victory over the Mets on Saturday. Milwaukee is hitting .294 in its

six July games with 11 doubles and 17 walks.

Leadoff hitter Norichika Aoki was 2 for 4 Saturday to extend his

hitting streak to six games, during which he’s 13 for 29 with four

runs driven in.

Logan Schafer finished with three hits, and is 7 for 21 this

month after going 12 for 67 (.179) in his first 18 games as a

replacement for the injured Ryan Braun.

Milwaukee, which won for the third time in 11 games, will call

upon Tom Gorzelanny (1-1, 2.43) in a spot start. The Brewers were

initially slated to send Wily Peralta to the mound, but he left his

previous outing with a strained left hamstring, and the club opted

for extra rest.

“We just didn’t want him to go back out Sunday, and all of a

sudden in the second or third inning, he feels something again,”

manager Ron Roenicke told the team’s official website.

Gorzelanny didn’t record a decision in his only previous start

this year, allowing a solo homer in addition to four other hits

over four innings in a 4-3 win over Philadelphia on June 8. The

left-hander is 4-5 with a 4.53 ERA in 21 games – eight starts –

versus New York.

David Wright, who was named an All-Star starter for a fifth time

Saturday, is 2 for 12 with five strikeouts versus Gorzelanny since

2008. He is 9 for 29 with a .444 on-base percentage during a

seven-game hitting streak.

Milwaukee’s Rickie Weeks, who had two hits Saturday after going

2 for 23 in his previous seven contests, homered in his lone at-bat

against Hefner on Sept. 15. Hefner worked one inning of relief in

his only outing versus the Brewers.