MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ryan Braun has struggled at the plate for most of the season. He broke through with a big home run Friday night.
Braun hit a tiebreaking two-run shot to straightaway center in the fifth inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the New York Mets 3-1 on Friday night.
“That’s one of those balls you don’t feel off the bat,” Braun said. “That’s about as hard as I can hit a baseball.”
The pitch that Braun hit out frustrated Mets starter Steven Matz (3-2).
“I wish I’d get that pitch to Braun back,” he said. “I was trying to go in and left it out over the plate. In a tie game, you’ve just got to make that pitch there.”
Braun had three hits to lift his average to .226, including his seventh home run of the season.
“There’s always an ebb and flow to everybody’s season and when you get off to a bad start it feels so much worse than it usually actually is,” Braun said of his early season slump. “If this happens in the middle of the season and you’ve already played some good baseball and gotten some good hits, I think it’s not as noticeable. My swing has been OK the whole time, but my plate discipline has been really bad. I’ve swung at a lot of bad pitches.”
Milwaukee played its fifth consecutive game without NL MVP Christian Yelich, who continues to deal with low back discomfort.
The Brewers also got a needed solid performance from one its starters after the Colorado Rockies roughed up the staff for a combined 22 runs in back-to-back losses on Wednesday and Thursday. Brandon Woodruff (4-1) answered the call, giving up six hits and one run in five innings to beat the Mets for the second time in a week. He walked two and struck out seven.
“I think he pitched a nice game tonight,” Brewers’ manager Craig Counsell said. “Really pleased with how he threw.”
Woodruff survived a 12-pitch, first-inning at-bat by Robinson Cano with minimal damage. Cano ended up drawing a walk and then scored on Wilson Ramos’ single.
Josh Hader got six outs for his eighth save in eight tries. Hader allowed the first two batters in the ninth to reach before striking out the next three.
After the Mets jumped in front, the Brewers tied it in their half of the first on Lorenzo Cain’s leadoff homer, the fifth of his career and second this season.
Matz allowed nine hits and three runs in 5 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out three.
The Mets selected the contract of INF Adeiny Hechavarria from Triple-A Syracuse and optioned 1B Dominic Smith. “Adeiny can really help us,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “Defensively, he’s going to allow us to deal with a double switch at a lot of different positions. He’s been swinging the bat great.” … The Brewers recalled RHP Adrian Houser from Triple-A San Antonio and optioned RHP Jay Jackson.
Mets: Reliever Luis Avilan left in the eighth with elbow tightness. After Avilan struck out Ben Gamel, catcher Ramos visited the mound and motioned for the trainer. “We’re going to have him evaluated and kind of go from there,” Callaway said. … Transferred RHP Drew Smith to the 60-day IL after he had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last month.
Brewers: Yelich took batting practice and threw long toss before the game. “We’re missing him,” manager Craig Counsell said.
PERALTA IN LIMBO
The Brewers will wait a few days to decide whether to give Freddy Peralta another start or move him out of the rotation, Counsell said. Peralta gave up 8 hits and six runs in four innings in a loss to Colorado on Thursday in his first start since returning from a stint on the injured list with right sternoclavicular joint irritation.
COMFORTS OF HOME
Milwaukee has homered in all 19 of its home games this season, the second-longest streak ever to start a season, trailing only the Toronto Blue Jays, who hit home runs in 21 consecutive games to start the 2000 season.
Mets: Zack Wheeler (2-2, 5.05 ERA) will make his fourth start on the road this season.
Brewers: Gio Gonzalez (0-0, 3.60) will make his second start of the season after signing as a free agent on April 27. His first start was also against the Mets.
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