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Mets’ Niese struggles in 5th in loss to Brewers

July 27, 2014

MILWAUKEE (AP) — In his second start since coming off the disabled list as he recovered from a sore shoulder, New York Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese held the resurgent Milwaukee Brewers offense in check for four innings.

The game turned on Niese’s mistake in the fifth.

The Mets held a two-run lead when Jean Segura reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second, advanced to third on a fly out and scored on a wild pitch by Niese.

“It was a curveball in the dirt. It got away. It happens. It took a bad hop, and that’s the way it goes,” Niese said.

Milwaukee grabbed the lead later in the inning when Jonathan Lucroy blasted a double to deep center with two outs, scoring Carlos Gomez, who had singled. Ryan Braun followed with an RBI single to give the Brewers a 3-2 edge. The Brewers went on to a 5-2 victory.

“I don’t know if his concentration was broken after the ball got by the catcher and the run scored but after that, all of a sudden his balls started to come up in the zone a little bit,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Niese (5-6) took the loss, giving up five hits and three runs in five innings. He walked two batters and struck out four.

“I thought today I was hitting the spots for the most part. Obviously, the mistakes that I made cost me,” Niese said. “I think as the year goes on, I’ll fix those mistakes.”

Nonetheless, Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke was impressed by the manner in which Niese went about his business.

“He’s still tough. I think he has a great idea of what he’s doing out there, as good as anybody in the league,” Roenicke said.

Wily Peralta earned his team-leading 12th win, and Mark Reynolds homered as Milwaukee bounced back after blowing a ninth-inning lead on Friday.

Khris Davis added a run-scoring hit for NL Central Division-leading Milwaukee.

Peralta (12-6) labored through 5 2-3 innings, giving up six hits and two runs. He walked three batters and struck out two. Peralta threw 103 pitches and didn’t show the command he had in his previous outing on Monday against Cincinnati, when he surrendered three hits and one run in seven innings.

“His command was off for sure, but when you’re throwing 97 or 98 mph, that’s not easy to hit,” Collins said. “We got some guys in good situations but we just couldn’t mount anything.”

Four relievers held the Mets scoreless over the final 3 1-3 innings. Francisco Rodriguez, who blew a save and took the loss against his former team on Friday night, recorded his 30th save in 34 chances.

“It was a heart-breaker last night, and I wanted to get back out there as soon as possible,” Rodriguez said. “One day this game can put you on top, and the next day it can put you in the ground. You have to have a short memory about it.”

The Mets took a 1-0 lead when Curtis Granderson, mired in an 0-for-18 slump, led off the third with a double to center. He moved to third on a groundout and scored on Lucas Duda’s soft single to center.

In his next at-bat, leading off the fifth, Granderson hit a line drive home run down the right-field line to make it 2-0.

Reynolds extended Milwaukee’s lead to two runs in the sixth with a 420-foot home run to center off Carlos Torres.

The Brewers made it 5-2 in the eighth on Davis’ RBI double.

NOTES: The Mets placed RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka on the 15-day DL with right elbow inflammation. Matsuzaka returned to New York on Friday for an MRI. The team recalled pitcher Buddy Carlyle from Triple-A Las Vegas. ... The Brewers honored Negro League players Ted Toles Jr. and Nathan “Sonny” Weston during a pregame ceremony. ... Niese batted eighth despite entering the game with an .036 batting average. Outfielder Eric Young Jr. batted ninth. ... Milwaukee’s Jimmy Nelson (1-1) faces New York’s Jacob deGrom (4-5) in the series finale on Sunday.

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