MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Matt Garza allowed two hits over eight innings to rebound from a horrendous outing and Ryan Braun hit one of three homers for the Milwaukee Brewers in a 9-1 victory Thursday night.
Jonathan Lucroy and Khris Davis also connected for the Brewers, who took a 6-0 lead after three innings against Dillon Gee (4-3) to win their fourth consecutive game.
Garza (7-7) gave up five runs in just one-third of an inning Saturday at Washington, the shortest start of his career.
It was a different story against the Mets. The right-hander yielded a third-inning single to Wilmer Flores, recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas earlier in the day, and a seventh-inning homer to Lucas Duda. Garza struck out four and walked one.
The Mets sent 31 batters to the plate, four over the minimum.
Milwaukee limped into the All-Star break, losing 11 of 13 games. They have won five of seven games since then to open a three-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central.
During their slump, the Brewers had a power outage, hitting only seven homers in 13 games. Since the All-Star break, they have 12 in seven games.
Lucroy hit his 12th and Davis his 17th homer, both solo shots. Braun had a two-run shot, deep to left field. It was his 14th long ball and extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
Duda’s homer was his 16th, a career high.
Gee lasted only five innings for the second consecutive start and allowed six runs, the most he’s given up all season. The right-hander allowed six hits and two walks while striking out six.
It was the most runs given up by Gee since he was charged with seven in an 8-3 loss at Philadelphia on April 9, 2013, a span of 40 starts.
He was replaced to open the sixth by Daisuke Matsuzaka, whose first pitch was hit by Davis over the fence.
The Brewers made it 1-0 in the first on Lucroy’s homer, and then erupted for four runs in the second. Davis and Mark Reynolds walked, and both scored on Jean Segura’s triple.
One out later, Carlos Gomez singled to score Segura. Gomez then stole second and scored on Lucroy’s RBI single for a 5-0 lead.
Consecutive doubles by Rickie Weeks and Davis made it 6-0 with one out in the third and the Brewers cruised the rest of the game.
NOTES: The Mets optioned OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis to Las Vegas. . Mets SS Ruben Tejada was given the day off as a precaution after being hit in the helmet by a pitch from Taijuan Walker. RF Curtis Granderson returned to the lineup after missing two games with a stomach virus. He went 0 for 4. . The Brewers are playing Michael Jackson songs when Gomez strides to the plate, and the quirky outfielder is raising his right leg and imitating a leg kick done by the King of Pop before entering the batter’s box.
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