Brewers reliever gets final 8 outs to beat Mets

BY foxsports • April 20, 2009

Todd Coffey served as his own setup man Sunday.

The hard-throwing reliever got the final eight outs, escaping a pair of tough jams to preserve Milwaukee's 4-2 victory over the New York Mets.

Mike Cameron homered against his former team to back an encouraging outing by Jeff Suppan, and the Brewers avoided a three-game sweep in their first trip to Citi Field.

"I went in and told the guys that this was a great series here. Three well-played games," manager Ken Macha said. "We scraped and we scratched. If we keep playing baseball like we played in this series, we'll be fine. I was pleased with the effort and I told them so."

The back end of Milwaukee's bullpen is in flux with career saves leader Trevor Hoffman on the disabled list, but Coffey keeps getting the job done.

The burly right-hander, who hasn't allowed a run since joining the Brewers last September, earned his first save since 2006 with Cincinnati. He even executed a sacrifice in the ninth inning before Rickie Weeks made it 4-2 with a two-out RBI double off Bobby Parnell, his third hit of the game.

"That's desire. You desire to do something that strongly - you take 96 mph and deaden it right there," Macha said. "He's played a big part in all of our wins."

Suppan (1-2) rebounded from two poor starts to begin the season, pitching effectively into the seventh inning and also helping himself at the plate. Milwaukee improved to 28-51 against the Mets since moving from the American League to the NL in 1998.

New York went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and wasted a useful spot start by Nelson Figueroa (0-1), called up from the minors to pitch in place of Mike Pelfrey (forearm tendinitis).

"He did a tremendous job," David Wright said. "Feel bad offensively not being able to go back that kind of performance up."

After the game, the Mets designated Figueroa for assignment and purchased the contract of left-hander Casey Fossum from Triple-A Buffalo.

Suppan hit a leadoff single in the fifth, moved to third on Weeks' ringing double and scored on Corey Hart's sacrifice fly to give Milwaukee a 2-1 lead.

Cameron, who played for the Mets from 2004-05, made it 3-1 with a shot to left-center in the sixth, his fourth of the season.

"I hit it with everything. I got a good barrel on it but yeah, it's tough here," Cameron said.

Omir Santos' leadoff triple in the seventh chased Suppan, and Jose Reyes' infield single off Mitch Stetter cut it to 3-2. Coffey came on with the bases loaded and one out to face slugger Carlos Delgado, who grounded into a 1-2-3 double play.

"You can't go for a strikeout there," Coffey said. "You try to get them to put it in play. You want a double play."

New York put its first two batters on in the eighth against Coffey, but Fernando Tatis struck out and Santos lined into an inning-ending double play.

Coffey then worked a one-hit ninth and pumped his fist when Wright's soft looper to second was caught for the final out. He hasn't allowed a run in 17 innings spanning 16 games since he was claimed off waivers by the Brewers last Sept. 10.

"We ran into some bad luck, but also had some bad at-bats," Wright said.

The Mets are hitting .236 with runners in scoring position through 12 games.

"We just haven't clicked yet with runners in scoring position - and we will. We have too many good hitters," manager Jerry Manuel said. "I can't say that at this point this early in the season that I'm upset with anybody's approach. I think it's more into anxiety than anything. It's wanting to get it done. And that's not a bad thing."

Working on six days' rest, Suppan was charged with two runs and eight hits. He struck out four and walked one.

Milwaukee pitchers have delivered five straight quality starts, though a Brewers starter has yet to go seven innings this year.

Delgado's two-out RBI double put the Mets ahead in the first, but Suppan pitched out of trouble for much of the afternoon. Delgado also grounded into a double play to end the third.

"We just didn't find any holes," he said.

Pitching for his hometown team before about 12 friends and family members, Figueroa allowed three runs and five hits in six innings.


Hoffman (strained muscle on right side) is scheduled to make rehab appearances Tuesday and Friday for Triple-A Nashville. He is expected to come off the disabled list Sunday in Houston. ... Reyes got the first triple in Citi Field history when Hart lost his high fly to right in the sun. ... Tatis made his first major league start and second appearance at 2B, giving Luis Castillo a rest.

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