Lucroy’s Homer in 13th Sends Brewers Over Mets 5-1
By MIKE FITZPATRICK
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Jonathan Lucroy hit a tiebreaking homer in a four-run 13th inning and the Milwaukee Brewers outlasted the New York Mets 5-1 on Thursday night after an unusual rain delay that lasted all of 3 minutes.
Aramis Ramirez homered early to end a Brewers’ power drought and finished with three hits, helping the NL Central leaders take two of three in the series. Milwaukee (40-27) completed a 5-3 road trip with its 10th victory in 15 games overall, matching a season high at 13 games above .500.
New York took advantage of an error by Gold Glove center fielder Carlos Gomez to tie it in the fourth before Kyle Lohse and Jonathon Niese settled into a crisp pitchers’ duel.
The slumping Mets stranded seven runners from the ninth through the 11th and blew a bases-loaded opportunity with a chance to win. They lost for the eighth time in nine games and fell a season-worst eight games under .500 at 29-37.
Ryan Braun was 0 for 5 with three strikeouts when he opened the 13th with an infield single off Carlos Torres (2-4). Lucroy, also hitless in five at-bats after beginning the night with a .341 batting average, drove an 0-1 pitch to left field for his fifth home run.
Mark Reynolds added an RBI single and Rickie Weeks was hit by Dana Eveland’s pitch with the bases loaded.
Back in the dugout, a frustrated Torres wiped his face with a towel and punched himself repeatedly on both sides of the head.
Zach Duke (4-0) tossed a perfect inning and Francisco Rodriguez finished in a non-save situation.
Mets closer Jenrry Mejia faced two batters in the 10th but got hurt warming up for the 11th and left the game with back stiffness.
Gonzalez Germen took over and struck out his first batter since coming off the disabled list before a sudden downpour halted play. Fans scurried for cover as umpires consulted the grounds crew near third base, and players stayed in the dugout waiting for word.
The rain quickly lightened to a drizzle, and play resumed after only 3 minutes.
Brewers reliever Brandon Kintzler escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the 11th with the help of a five-man infield. Wilmer Flores grounded into a force at the plate before Anthony Recker struck out looking.
Incensed by the call, Recker argued and was quickly ejected by plate umpire Angel Hernandez.
With both starters working fast and throwing strikes, the first nine innings were played in a brisk 2 hours, 23 minutes.
Lohse, who struggled in three previous starts at Citi Field, held the Mets to an unearned run in eight economical innings. He gave up four hits (all singles) and did not walk a batter while throwing 99 pitches.
Niese gave New York another steady outing with nothing to show for it.
The left-hander struck out a season-high eight and scattered six hits over 7 2-3 innings. He has a 2.22 ERA over 28 1-3 innings in his last four games, all no-decisions.
Niese, who also hit two batters, has not allowed more than three earned runs in his past 17 starts dating to last year _ the longest active streak in the majors.
Ramirez hit a solo shot to left-center in the second for Milwaukee’s first home run in six games. The last time the Brewers went five games without a long ball was May 4-8, 2011, according to STATS.
Lohse set down his first nine batters before Daniel Murphy lined a leadoff single in the fourth. The ball skipped past an indecisive Gomez, allowing Murphy to reach third on the two-base error. He scored easily on Bobby Abreu’s sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Brewers manager Ron Roenicke and several coaches visited Major League Baseball’s replay center in Manhattan on Thursday morning. … Milwaukee is 13-6 at Citi Field. … Ruben Tejada had made seven straight starts at shortstop for New York before Flores got the nod Thursday night. … Murphy batted leadoff for the first time since May 26, 2013, according to STATS.
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