By RICH ROVITO Associated Press
MILWAUKEE (AP) _ A night after the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen squandered a game in the ninth inning, the relief corps nailed down a win over the New York Mets.
Four relievers held the Mets scoreless over the final 3 1-3 innings, and the Brewers beat the Mets 5-2 on Saturday night.
Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez, who blew a save chance and took the loss against the Mets on Friday night, recorded his 30th save in 34 chances. He gave up a one-out double in the ninth but recorded two strikeouts in the inning.
“It was a heart-breaker last night, and I wanted to get back out there as soon as possible,” Rodriguez said. “One day this game can put you on top and the next day it can put you in the ground. You have to have a short memory about it.”
Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta earned his team-leading 12th win but struggled with his command.
Peralta (12-6) labored through 5 2-3 innings, giving up six hits and two runs. He walked three batters and struck out two. He threw 103 pitches and didn’t show the command he had in his previous outing on Monday against Cincinnati, when he surrendered three hits and one run in seven innings.
“He wasn’t on his game,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “The great thing is that he got through the game and kept the run total down and got us innings. I thought he battled every inning.”
Peralta said he struggled with command of his fastball.
“When you have your best it’s really easy to go through the lineup but when you don’t have your best you have to make one pitch at a time to keep your team in the game,” he said.
Even on an off night, Peralta is difficult to hit, Mets manager Terry Collins said.
“His command was off for sure but when you’re throwing 97 or 98 miles per hour, that’s not easy to hit,” Collins said. “We got some guys in good situations but we just couldn’t mount anything.”
Mark Reynolds homered and Jonathan Lucroy, Ryan Braun and Khris Davis added run-scoring hits for NL Central Division-leading Milwaukee.
Jonathon Niese (5-6) took the loss, giving up five hits and three runs in five innings. He walked two batters and struck out four.
“I thought today I was hitting the spots for the most part,” Niese said. “Obviously, the mistakes that I made cost me.”
The Mets took a 1-0 lead when Curtis Granderson, mired in an 0-for-18 slump, led off the third with a double to center. He moved to third on a groundout and scored on Lucas Duda’s soft single to center.
In his next at-bat, leading off the fifth, Granderson hit a line drive home run down the right-field line to make it 2-0.
The Brewers got on the board in the fifth when Jean Segura reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second, advanced to third on a fly out by Peralta and scored on a wild pitch by Niese.
Milwaukee grabbed the lead later in the inning when Lucroy blasted a double to deep center with two outs, scoring Carlos Gomez, who had singled. Braun followed with an RBI single to give the Brewers a 3-2 edge.
Reynolds extended Milwaukee’s lead to two runs in the sixth with a 420-foot home run to center off Carlos Torres.
The Brewers made it 5-2 in the eighth on Davis’ RBI double.
NOTES: The Mets placed RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka on the 15-day DL with right elbow inflammation. Matsuzaka returned to New York on Friday for an MRI. The team recalled pitcher Buddy Carlyle from Triple-A Las Vegas. … The Brewers honored Negro League players Ted Toles Jr. and Nathan “Sonny” Weston during a pregame ceremony. … Niese batted eighth despite entering the game with an .036 batting average. Outfielder Eric Young Jr. batted ninth. … Milwaukee’s Jimmy Nelson (1-1) faces New York’s Jacob deGrom (4-5) in the series finale on Sunday.
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