Brewers fall short in 4-2 loss to Mets
NEW YORK — Following a pair of relief appearances, Robert Gsellman has given the Mets two steady starts in a row.
Maybe they want to think twice about sending him back to the bullpen.
Hours after the team ticketed him for relief duty soon, Gsellman pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and had two RBIs to lead New York past the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Monday.
“Starting’s a little more fun,” the rookie sinkerballer said. “I just want to win. Whatever they want me to do, I’ll do.”
Rene Rivera and Michael Conforto each hit an RBI double during a three-run fifth against Matt Garza (2-2). Sandwiched in between, Gsellman drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly .
He also drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth from reliever Rob Scahill, the eighth for New York this season after totaling three last year.
“You’ve got to get that guy out,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “I think a walk is kind of the last thing that can happen there.”
Wilmer Flores added three hits for the Mets, who had a quick turnaround after landing in New York at 2 a.m. following Sunday night’s victory at Pittsburgh. Still, they handed the surprising NL Central leaders their sixth loss in eight games as the teams opened a four-game series.
“Gsellman threw a hell of a game,” Garza said.
Long before the first pitch, general manager Sandy Alderson said Gsellman (3-3) probably is headed back into a struggling bullpen when injured starters Steven Matz and Seth Lugo come off the disabled list — likely after one more minor league rehab outing apiece.
“I just want to pitch,” Gsellman said. “They haven’t told me anything. … I enjoy pitching so much that I really don’t care.”
Alderson said Lugo is best suited for starting because of the partially torn ligament in his elbow, and the team believes Gsellman can provide a boost in relief.
“We do think he can help us there,” the GM explained. “With a 5.00 ERA in the bullpen, a lot of people can help us.”
This time, though, the relief corps came through.
Rookie right-hander Paul Sewald fanned two in a perfect eighth, and Addison Reed earned his seventh save in nine chances. Reed, who blew a save opportunity Saturday at Pittsburgh, gave up consecutive singles to start the ninth before retiring the next three batters — including two strikeouts.
Domingo Santana homered on an 0-2 pitch from Gsellman, one day after hitting Milwaukee’s first grand slam of the season during Sunday’s victory over Arizona.
That was the only earned run Gsellman permitted. He struck out five and walked two.
“Too bad I didn’t get a hit,” Gsellman said. “Still got a couple RBIs, help out the team finally in the box.”
Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera committed a throwing error that led to the Brewers’ first run on an RBI groundout by Keon Broxton. Cabrera, however, quickly made amends with a single to start New York’s three-run fifth.
Garza gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
“Probably the one he’d like to have back is the 0-2 pitch to Conforto,” Counsell said. “Just caught too much of the plate on a fastball trying to go in.”
HOME AND AWAY
Milwaukee swept three games from the Mets at Miller Park from May 12-14, but New York has won six straight home games against the Brewers — matching its longest current streak against a National League opponent.
Sewald has a 1.35 ERA in his past 20 innings — and 23 strikeouts over his last 16 innings. … In part-time duty, Flores is hitting .393 this month.
Brewers: After getting a day off Sunday, slumping 1B-OF Eric Thames made his fourth start in left field. He went 0 for 3 with a walk and is hitless in his last 19 at-bats.
Mets: 2B Neil Walker was rested in favor of Flores. … Rivera crouched in pain and was checked by a trainer after getting hit on the right wrist by a pitch from Scahill. The catcher remained in the game and said X-rays were negative. … Matz and Lugo have both been sidelined all season with elbow trouble. … Alderson said the team hopes slugger Yoenis Cespedes (strained left hamstring) will be ready to come off the disabled list in a week to 10 days — perhaps in time to be the DH during a two-game series at Texas that begins June 6.
One day after his 27th birthday, Mets RHP Tyler Pill (0-1) makes his first major league start Tuesday night against Brewers RHP Zach Davies (5-3, 5.33 ERA). Pill was called up from the minors Friday and lost in relief during his big league debut the following night at Pittsburgh. Davies is 2-0 with a 4.41 ERA in three career starts against New York, including an 11-4 win over Gsellman on May 13 at Miller Park.