NEW YORK — The Milwaukee Brewers did not strand a baserunner Friday night. Problem was, they put only two of them out there.
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Steven Matz pitched seven smooth innings to win his sixth consecutive start and Michael Conforto hit a two-run homer for the New York Mets in their 3-2 victory over Milwaukee.
Chris Carter homered for the Brewers, who mustered just three hits in support of Wily Peralta and sent all of 29 batters to the plate — two more than the minimum.
"We did a good job of hitting with guys on base," manager Craig Counsell joked. "You score two runs, you’re going to have a hard time winning games."
After skipping a turn in the rotation last weekend and receiving an injection for his sore elbow, Matz (6-1) picked up right where he left off in his previous outing May 9 at Dodger Stadium. The rookie left-hander improved to 10-1 over 13 regular-season starts in the majors.
Pain-free and sharp as a tack, Matz struck out eight and walked none as the Mets won for only the second time in eight games.
Not "many hard-hit balls," Counsell said. "You have to give yourself opportunities."
The only real hiccup for Matz was Carter’s 13th home run, a two-run shot to center field on a 2-2 pitch in the first. After that, Matz retired 15 straight batters before Hernan Perez singled with two outs in the sixth.
"He did a good job of mixing stuff in the zone and just throwing strikes and having quick innings," Carter said. "He did a great job today. First time we’ve faced him and the next time we see him, we’ll get a little more off of him."
Perez was promptly caught stealing by catcher Rene Rivera, a call that was overturned upon replay review. Milwaukee never managed another baserunner.
"Nothing else happened in this game," Carter said.
Addison Reed tossed a perfect eighth and Jeurys Familia closed flawlessly for his 14th save in as many chances.
With the Mets trailing 2-1, Asdrubal Cabrera singled to start the sixth and Conforto went opposite field to left against Peralta (2-5) for his seventh home run. The ball cleared the shortened fence at Citi Field, near the 358-foot sign.
"I thought Conforto hit a pretty good pitch. He really did," Counsell said.
"Wily was certainly better today. The slider, he got some outs on the slider. I thought there was some life to his fastball. I thought the pace that he worked at was really improved, so there was definitely some positive signs there," the manager added. "He needed it, for sure."
Peralta, a 17-game winner in 2014, gave Milwaukee an encouraging outing after struggling early this year. He yielded six hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out six and walking two.
"Better rhythm today. I think I was commanding better, too," Peralta said. "Between starts, I’ve been working on not thinking much, just grabbing the ball and executing."
Rivera drove in New York’s first run with a groundout in the second after Neil Walker drew a leadoff walk and went to third on Lucas Duda’s single.
Brewers outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis and reliever Carlos Torres, role players who helped the Mets reach the World Series last season, received their 2015 NL championship rings from manager Terry Collins and assistant GM John Ricco just outside the Milwaukee clubhouse. Ricco brought over gift bags, and Collins thanked both players for their contributions. "We miss you, and congratulations on your success," he told Nieuwenhuis.
Brewers: LF Ryan Braun missed his third straight game with a stiff back. Braun had back surgery in the offseason and the club has been cautious with his health. He said he was feeling better and thinks he is "trending in the right direction." Counsell said the team is going day by day with Braun and wouldn’t rule out the slugger returning to the lineup this weekend. But if he doesn’t make any progress by Sunday, Counsell said, the Brewers might need to consider putting Braun on the disabled list. … Milwaukee placed RF Domingo Santana on the 15-day DL with a sore right shoulder and recalled speedy Keon Broxton from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Broxton started in center field and batted seventh. He was hitless in two at-bats, falling to 0 for 20 in his major league career.
Mets: 3B David Wright (spinal stenosis) received a scheduled day off but could play both afternoon games this weekend, Collins said. … Familia’s left knee was wrapped in ice after he knocked down a comebacker for the final out. He said he was fine.
Weather permitting, Milwaukee RHP Zach Davies (1-3, 5.58 ERA) starts the middle game of the series Saturday against RHP Jacob deGrom (3-1, 2.50).