MILWAUKEE (AP) — The most-impressive hit Sunday by the Milwaukee Brewers caromed off a heavy cable that supports Miller Park’s retractable roof and fell into fair territory.
Problem was the umpires ruled that Mark Reynolds’ towering shot was foul. Soon enough, Reynolds struck out looking on an inside pitch by New York Mets rookie Jacob deGrom.
The Brewers could only muster six singles off four Mets pitchers in a 2-0 loss that allowed New York to split the four-game series. Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer and deGrom pitched effectively into the seventh.
“I think it is location,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said about deGrom’s success. “There’s a lot of life on the ball though. Whether it is 93, 94 or if he gets to 95, it has a lot of life on it.”
The Brewers’ feast-or-famine lineup left eight men on base.
“We didn’t square up many balls today,” Roenicke said.
Duda sent an 0-2 slider in the sixth from rookie Jimmy Nelson (1-2) into the second deck above right field to break a scoreless pitcher’s duel. It was Duda’s third homer in four days in Milwaukee.
The Brewers mounted a ninth-inning rally against Jenrry Mejia with two outs after Jean Segura’s single put runners on first and second. Mejia got Lyle Overbay to ground out for his 15th save.
DeGrom (5-5) held the Brewers to four hits and two walks, exiting with one out in the seventh after allowing two singles. Vic Black got out of that jam.
New York finished its post-All Star game road trip at 5-5 despite the nervous moments in the ninth. Khris Davis reached first on an infield single with one out on a play that stood following a replay review.
After Overbay grounded out, the animated Mejia pumped his arms in front of him and stomped to one knee as he yelled toward the outfield.
“It’s huge for us,” manager Terry Collins said about going .500 on the swing that also took the Mets to San Diego and Seattle. “When you start the second half with a 10-day road trip and you play two teams that are fighting for the playoffs, it’s a big test and our guys rose and played very well.”
The rookie starters matched scoreless innings early. Nelson allowed four doubles and got into a little trouble in missing high with his sinker, but finished with six strikeouts in seven innings.
The slider he left up in the zone to Duda proved costly in the end. At least Nelson got to smile after singling up the middle in the third for his first career hit in 66 at-bats as a professional, dating back to the minor leagues.
“I think my thumbs are still in the batter’s box,” Nelson said. “It’s been a while since I got one of those, about 10 years.”
DeGrom won his fourth straight start, each time getting into the seventh. The most worrisome pitch for the righty came when Reynolds hit his shot to the roof.
“I did it in the exhibition game (in March). That was a fair one,” Reynolds said.
Not this one. Davis, at first, was racing around third when he was held up. He never did make it home.
DeGrom finished with four strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 2.81.
NOTES: The Mets improved to 22-13 in day games. … 3B Aramis Ramirez, who was 2 for 24 on the seven-game homestand, had a day off before popping out in the seventh as a pinch hitter. … Roenicke indicated 2B Scooter Gennett could return to action full time when the Brewers open a three-game series Monday in Tampa. Gennett also popped out in the seventh as a pinch hitter. … Bartolo Colon (9-8) starts when the Mets return to the Citi Field for the first time since the All-Star break to play the Phillies on Monday. … Kyle Lohse (11-4) opens the three-game series against the Rays for Milwaukee.
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