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Jonathan Niese

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By COLIN FLY   AP Sports Writer
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’ defense.

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.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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