MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ryan Braun’s career-high sixth hit, a two-run single with one out in the 18th inning, lifted the Milwaukee Brewers to a 4-3 comeback victory over the New York Mets on Saturday night in the longest game in Miller Park history.
Braun stood on first base with his hands raised above his head as Yasmani Grandal slid across home plate with the winning run, ending the game that lasted 5 hours and 22 minutes. A jubilant bunch of Brewers ran out to greet Braun, who was the only Milwaukee player to have multiple hits.
The Mets took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 18th on Jeff McNeil’s run-scoring single off Taylor Williams (1-1), who was Milwaukee’s eighth and final pitcher. McNeil was thrown out at second base for the third out after trying to stretch his hit to a double.
But the Brewers were far from done.
Eric Thames drew a leadoff walk from Chris Flexen (0-2), who then got Mike Moustakas to fly out to center. But Flexen, just recalled from Triple-A Syracuse earlier in the day, walked Grandal and Travis Shaw to load the bases for Braun. The Brewers’ longest-tenured hit a sharp grounder past first baseman Pete Alonso and into right field, scoring the tying and winning runs.
Miller Park, which opened in 2001, had two previous 17-inning games: in 2003 and 2015. Both teams used eight pitchers and all of their position players in this one.
Alonso had tied the game in the ninth with a first-pitch, leadoff home run off Brewers reliever Junior Guerra.
But both teams struggled offensively in the extra innings. The Brewers had a chance to end it in the 17th when Braun led off with a double off Flexen, but was stranded.
The Brewers slugger also doubled off Robert Gsellman, the seventh Mets pitcher, with one out in the 14th — but was again left on the basepaths.
Williams allowed one run and three hits with three strikeouts in four innings to earn the win.
Much earlier in the night, the Brewers got a strong outing from Gio Gonzalez, who made his second start after signing as a free agent on April 27. Gonzalez retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced. He gave up three hits and one run in 5 1/3 innings, didn’t walk a batter and struck out seven.
NL MVP Christian Yelich didn’t start for a sixth consecutive game due to lower back discomfort, but came on as pinch-hitter to lead off the 10th and lined out to center on the first pitch from Seth Lugo.
The Mets got a run in the second when Wilson Ramos singled off Gonzalez with two outs and came around to score on Amed Rosario’s triple.
The Brewers tied it in the third on Lorenzo Cain’s run-scoring single off Zack Wheeler, then took the lead on Moustakas’ double, which scored Cain.
Wheeler allowed six hits and two runs in seven innings, and had 10 strikeouts while tying a season high with 111 pitches.
Mets: Placed LHP Luis Avilan on the 10-day injured list with left elbow soreness. Avilan left Friday night’s game in the eighth. “We’re going to get him to New York and have him evaluated there,” manager Mickey Callaway said. Flexen took Avilan’s spot. ... INF Jed Lowrie, who has been on the injured list since opening day with a left knee capsule strain, started for Syracuse on Saturday on a rehab assignment. He went hitless in four at-bats.
Brewers: Yelich took batting practice for a second consecutive day. “The guys who have been playing have done a really nice job filling in, but having said that, we want (Yelich) in the lineup, for sure,” manager Craig Counsell said.
Mets: Jason Vargas (1-1, 5.75 ERA) pitched a season-high 5 1/3 innings against Cincinnati on Tuesday. Is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two career starts against the Brewers.
Brewers: Zach Davies (3-0, 1.38) will make his seventh start. He is 2-2 with a 5.76 ERA in six career starts against the Mets, including 0-2 with a 9.72 ERA in two starts last season.