By Curt Hogg
Once again the Mets tied the game late but the Brewers put up four runs on the New York bullpen to win.
A Lucas Duda two-run home run off Yovani Gallardo tied the game up for the Mets in the seventh inning before Milwaukee rallied with two runs in both the eighth and ninth to crack the game open.
Manny Acosta (1-1) walked Nyjer Morgan and gave up a single to Ryan Braun before giving way to lefty Tim Byrdak. He got Fielder to hit a grounder sharply to second baseman Justin Turner, who threw the ball away attempting to turn a double play. Jerry Hairston lined a ball past a diving David Wright to score Braun and give the Brewers a 4-2 lead.
In the ninth, a Nyjer Morgan suicide squeeze plated Craig Counsell, who singled as a pinch hitter on his 41st birthday. Braun then doubled in Corey Hart to give the Brewers a 6-2 lead that LaTroy Hawkins would not relinquish.
Gallardo (14-8) picked up the win despite exiting the game while tied. The only blemish was the two-run blast by Duda. He struck out six and walked only one to get within one win of the National League lead of 15 shared by three.
Milwaukee (76-52) moves to 9 games ahead in first place while St. Louis will face the Cubs on Sunday Night Baseball later on. The 9 game lead is the largest first-place margin in franchise history. Since the All Star break Milwaukee has the second-best road record, improving to 29-36 away from Miller Park.
Casey McGehee led off the scoring with a two-out solo home run off Mets starter R.A. Dickey in the fourth.
Dickey lasted seven innings and gave up two runs, leaving the game on the hook for the loss before Duda took him off.
Braun went 3-5 with a double, two runs scored, and his 81st RBI of the season. He also stole two bases; his swipe of second in the sixth led to run after Fielder’s single scored him, and stole third before Hairston’s RBI single in the eighth.
Fielder improved his league-leading RBI total to 98 with his two on Sunday. He leads Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard by two in that category.
Just what the doctor prescribed to end the Brewers’ road woes was a trip to Houston, home of the lowly Astros. A team featuring multiple players that, respectably, should be in AAA, yet due to necessity, are showcasing themselves on the Big League club.
On Friday, the Crew rolled to an easy 8-1 victory behind a strong performance by Gallardo. The Saturday night special was consistent offense and timely hitting, along with an incredible game-ending display of Plushdamentals by Nyjer Morgan. The rubber match of the series showcased Zack Greinke baffling hitters over 7 one-run innings and made Brewers fans get a little nervous when Marco Estrada gave up two runs.
Prince Fielder was in an offensive groove all series. He hit home runs numbers 25 and 26 and drove in 6 runs in the series. The offense as a whole is streaking, having posted double digit hit totals in 9 consecutive games, the longest such streak in the MLB this season.
Now the Crew, after on off day Monday, is off to St. Louis to face the second-place Cardinals. The Redbirds (3 games back) will be without catcher Yadier Molina for the first game, serving a five-game suspension for this incident. Probables for the Brewers are Marcum (Tuesday), Wolf (Wednesday), and Gallardo (Thursday).