MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Shaun Marcum struggled in his return to Miller Park, failing to build on recent success following a nightmarish start to his season with the Mets.
Marcum, who compiled a 20-11 record pitching for Milwaukee in 2011 and 2012, allowed 11 hits and five earned runs over five innings in New York’s 7-6 loss to the Brewers.
“I fell behind in some counts and this isn’t the most pitcher-friendly park to do that in so it makes it rough,” said Marcum, who struck out three and walked one. “It was nice to come back here. I enjoyed my two years here. Obviously, I wish the results were better.”
Marcum started the season 0-9 but had pitched well over his previous two outings heading into Saturday night’s start. He pitched eight shutout innings in a win against the White Sox and allowed six hits over six innings in the Mets’ 5-4 win over Arizona in an extra innings Monday.
“He’s had some pretty good games recently,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “Even the other day, he pitched pretty good even though his back started to get stiff on him.”
Marcum, who experienced tingling in his right hand after his last start and had an MRI on Tuesday, took the mound as scheduled against the Brewers but experienced similar problems.
“I felt some numbness and tingling and a cold hand, but I’m never going to take myself out of a game,” he said.
The Brewers jumped on Marcum (1-10) for a run in the first inning. Jonathan Lucroy’s two-out single scored Norichika Aoki, who led off the game with an infield hit.
Milwaukee added two runs in the second. Logan Schafer singled, moved to third on a single by Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo and scored on Aoki’s base hit. Jean Segura followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Gallardo.
Lucroy extended the Brewers lead to 4-0 with a one-out, solo home run to left field in the third.
“(Marcum) left a lot of balls up, more than he normally does,” Collins said. “He’s really a change-speed guy that keeps the ball down. The ball to Lucroy he left up. He left a breaking ball out over the plate in the first inning. That’s just not where he usually pitches.”
Gallardo helped himself again in the fourth, leading off with a double off the right field wall and scoring on Segura’s one-out single. On the night, Gallardo singled, doubled, scored two runs and executed a successful sacrifice bunt off Marcum that led to a key play in the game.
The Mets broke through for two runs against Gallardo in the fifth. John Buck led off with a home run off the right field foul pole. Daniel Murphy had a run-scoring double later in the inning.
The Mets slashed the Brewers’ lead to 5-4 on Buck’s two-run single in the sixth.
Milwaukee scored in a key run in the sixth with Gallardo in the thick of things. After Schafer led off with a single, Gallardo executed a two-strike sacrifice bunt. Marcum fielded the ball cleanly but his throw was dropped by second-baseman Murphy, who was covering first. The ball skipped into right field, allowing Schafer to race around the bases and beat a throw to the plate.
The Mets cut the lead to 6-5 in the seventh on Marlon Byrd’s sacrifice fly. Schafer’s run-scoring double, his third hit of the game, put Milwaukee ahead 7-5.
Byrd’s home run in the ninth pulled the Mets within a run, but Rodriguez struck out Kirk Nieuwenhuis to end the game.
Gallardo (7-8), who has been the subject of recent trade speculation, scattered six hits over six innings and allowed four earned runs, striking out six and walking three.
Gallardo gave up one hit through the first four innings before running into some trouble in the fifth and sixth.
“I think he started to get a little tired,” said Lucroy, who drove in two runs. “I think he really threw well the first four innings. His last two he scuffled a little but for the most part it was a solid start and he gave us a chance to win. That’s most important.”
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke liked what he saw from Gallardo early in the game.
“Yovani started off really well then lost some command,” Roenicke said.
Francisco Rodriguez recorded his eighth save of the season and 302nd of his career despite giving up the two-out solo home run to Byrd in the ninth.
NOTES: The Brewers and Mets each will have two representatives on the NL All-Star team. The Mets’ David Wright will start at third base after winning fan balloting at the position. Teammate Matt Harvey was named to the squad’s pitching staff. Brewers OF Carlos Gomez and SS Jean Segura were selected as reserves. … Brewers OF Ryan Braun took batting practice on the field Saturday after taking swings in a batting cage on Friday. Braun has been sidelined about a month with a thumb injury. … The Mets Ike Davis stole his first base of the season in the second inning.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)