Davies returns, but Mets shut out Brewers in series opener

MILWAUKEE — Brandon Nimmo is making a strong case to remain in the New York Mets‘ everyday lineup.

Nimmo reached base five times, Steven Matz pitched six solid innings and the Mets beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-0 on Thursday night.

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Nimmo raised his on-base percentage to .450, best in the majors among players with at least 100 plate appearances, with a career-high four hits and a walk. The 25-year-old outfielder had a triple and two doubles, and he has reached base eight consecutive times.

“I’m in a good place right now,” Nimmo said. “I’m really glad I’ve been able to create some traffic for (Asdrubal Cabrera) behind me. He’s really been carrying this offense for a while now.”

Nimmo has gotten consistent playing time as the leadoff hitter for the past two weeks, which he said has bolstered his performance.

“I’ve been getting into a really good rhythm,” he said.

Nimmo’s performance earned praise from manager Mickey Callaway, who will have some tough decisions to make with the Mets outfield when Yoenis Cespedes returns from the disabled list.

“If you have a guy who can be as patient as he can be and walk and hit extra-base hits, that turns into a really valuable player,” Callaway said.

Cabrera and Wilmer Flores each had two RBIs.

Matz (2-3) matched his longest outing of the season. Both of his victories this season have come against the NL Central-leading Brewers.

“I’m feeling more comfortable out there and am able to attack the zone a little bit more,” Matz said.

Being injury free has been important, said Matz, who had surgery last August to reposition and decompress the ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow.

“I’m just very thankful that I’m healthy and get to work on stuff,” Matz said.

The Mets got on the board first in the third when Nimmo tripled off starter Zach Davies (2-4) and scored on Flores’ sacrifice fly.

New York extended the lead to 3-0 in the fifth on Cabrera’s two-run double, which chased Davies, who was returning from a nearly month-long stint on the disabled list due to right rotator cuff inflammation. The Mets added another run in the inning on Flores’ run-scoring single off reliever Dan Jennings.

Davies gave up four runs and six hits in four innings. He struck out two and walked two in the shortest outing of his seven starts this season.

“The command wasn’t there pretty much all night,” Davies said.

Devin Mesoraco drove in a run with a double in the seventh off Jorge Lopez to extend the margin to 5-0.

Matz gave up four hits while striking out two batters and walking two. He threw 94 pitches, one off his season high.

Relievers Paul Sewald and Jacob Rhame combined for three innings to complete the shutout.

The Brewers were held without a hit from the fifth inning until Hernan Perez‘s lead-off single in the ninth.

FAMILIA SUPPORT

Callaway offered support for closer Jeurys Familia, who blew his fourth save of the season Wednesday in a 2-1 loss to the Miami Marlins. “If you look at the numbers, he’s been our best reliever,” Callaway said. “The year he had 51 saves, his numbers (this year) are way better than that. He’s having a career-year numbers-wise.”

CLOSE CALL

With the bases loaded in the first inning, Mets’ catcher Mesoraco smacked a liner up the middle that nearly struck Davies in the head. He fell to the ground after deflecting the ball with his glove, then scrambled to his feet in time to throw Mesoraco out at first.

“He had the wherewithal to stay calm and make the play,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “It looked like a line drive right at his head.”

GREEK FREAK

Milwaukee Bucks’ All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo attended the game.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: OF Juan Lagares had surgery Wednesday in Manhattan to repair a complete tear of the left big toe plantar plate.

Brewers: Ryan Braun was re-instated from the disabled list and started in left field. He had a single in four at-bats. … 3B Travis Shaw got the night off to rest.

UP NEXT

Mets: Noah Syndergaard (4-1, 2.91 ERA) is 2-0 with a 0.49 ERA in three career starts versus the Brewers. He struck out eight consecutive Milwaukee batters in an April 15 start.

Brewers: Junior Guerra (3-3, 2.98) is 1-0 with a 0.71 ERA in two career starts against the Mets.