Brewers ride Lohse, Braun to win over Mets
NEW YORK (AP) — Two big swings and one astounding catch. Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers were at their all-around best Friday night.
Braun homered twice and made a magnificent grab, leading Kyle Lohse and the Brewers to a 7-0 victory over the slumping New York Mets.
“We’ve had plenty of nights like this, but ultimately we’ve been on the other side of them. So it’s nice to have one like this where things go really well for us on both sides of the ball,” Braun said. “The last couple weeks we’ve played much better baseball, much more consistent baseball.”
Lohse allowed two harmless hits in eight crisp innings. Gerardo Parra also homered and hit an RBI double for the last-place Brewers, who battered Bartolo Colon (6-2) to win their first road game under new manager Craig Counsell.
They did it in a ballpark where they’re accustomed to success — Milwaukee has won 13 of its past 16 at Citi Field, where the Brewers are 14-6 overall for the best winning percentage (.700) of any National League team.
“It was great to see Kyle get on track,” Counsell said. “He just filled up the strike zone.”
Back home after getting swept by the Chicago Cubs in four games at Wrigley Field, the NL East leaders dropped their season-worst fifth straight.
The banged-up Mets also announced in the late innings that second baseman Dilson Herrera fractured the tip of his middle finger on his throwing hand while taking pregame grounders, and will go on the disabled list.
Aramis Ramirez had three hits in his return to the Milwaukee lineup, including a go-ahead double.
Lohse (3-4) struck out a season-high eight, walked one and used the large dimensions in center field to his advantage after entering with an uncharacteristic 7.03 ERA. Michael Blazek completed a three-hitter that took only 2 hours, 18 minutes.
“That was a lot more like it. I just had a lot better command,” Lohse said. “We’ve been working on a couple mechanical things and it finally kind of paid dividends out there. Lot easier just letting it happen instead of trying to force pitches.”
Pitching nine days before his 42nd birthday, Colon was trying to become the first seven-game winner in the majors. Instead, he was tagged for six runs — five earned — and seven hits over five innings, his poorest outing of the year.
About the only positive for Colon was that he extended his streak without a walk to 45 1-3 innings.
“It gets you kind of startled when you’ve got one of your best pitchers out there and you look up and man, bang, you’re behind,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “I mean, we were behind fast! Fast and furious! When you’re behind 5-0 and I don’t think he’d thrown 30 pitches and it’s 5-0, that gets your attention.”
Braun made an astonishing catch to end the second, diving full out at the edge of the warning track in right-center after a long run to rob Wilmer Flores of an extra-base hit. By the time Braun rolled over and held up his glove to show he had the ball, it was peeking out of the webbing like a snow cone.
Center fielder Carlos Gomez was all fired up, and several teammates — including Lohse — waited for Braun near third base to give him high-fives and pats on the back.
“I know when I hit the ground the ball moved around a little bit, so fortunately it stayed in there,” he said. “It’s always nice to see teammates as excited as you are after a big play like that.”