MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jonathon Niese pitched effectively into the eighth and the New York Mets took two of three games against the best home team in the majors with a 4-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night.
Niese (5-5) retired the first 11 Brewers hitters and only allowed an RBI double to Prince Fielder in the fourth and singles in the seventh and eighth. He matched a career high with eight strikeouts.
The Mets roughed up Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo (8-3) to snap his six-game winning streak. Gallardo allowed 10 hits and didn’t get an out in the fifth.
Francisco Rodriguez recorded the final four outs for his 18th save of the season.
New York won the series opener, but blew a four-run, eighth-inning lead on Wednesday night.
Niese allowed one hit and faced one over the minimum against San Diego.
In this one, the left-hander used his sweeping curveball and a cut fastball to keep the Brewers’ guessing. Carlos Gomez swung twice at the big breaking ball before watching a third for strike three to end the fifth.
Niese’s biggest trouble came in the seventh when Ryan Braun singled and Fielder walked with no outs.
But slumping Casey McGehee hit a fly to the warning track in right field, Yuniesky Betancourt fouled out after a running grab by catcher Josh Thole and Niese struck out Jonathan Lucroy looking.
Niese got the first two outs in the eighth before leaving for Rodriguez after he walked Rickie Weeks and allowed a single to Corey Hart. Braun lined out to end the threat. Rodriguez worked around a Fielder double to start the ninth.
Jose Reyes had his 12-game hitting streak end, but every other position player got at least one hit off Gallardo.
Ruben Tejada’s two-out, run-scoring single in the second and Jason Pridie’s sacrifice fly in the fourth gave the Mets a 2-0 lead. Fielder’s two-out double in the fourth drove in Braun for his 55th RBI, but the Mets came right back with two more runs in the fifth.
The first four batters singled for New York, including RBI hits by Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan that chased Gallardo. It could’ve been more, but Hart, in right field, threw out Murphy at the plate after Thole’s fly ball to end the inning.
Gallardo had a 1.32 ERA over his career-best six-game winning streak, but he looked little like the Brewers ace in this outing. New York didn’t have a lot of hard hit balls with only one extra-base hit, but almost everything the Mets swung out found a spot out of reach of the Brewers’ defence.
Milwaukee, now 22-9 at home, will get a chance to take the lead in the NL Central when the Brewers host the Cardinals this weekend. New York continues this 10-game trip with four in Pittsburgh before finishing in Atlanta.
NOTES: Reyes finished 0 for 5. … Mets LF Jason Bay sat for the first of at least two games as he tries to shake off his career-worst 23 at-bat hitless streak. … Packers QB and Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers threw out the first pitch.
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