After winning Friday’s opener Milwaukee pulled out a thrilling win on Saturday, as Casey McGehee’s two-run single in the ninth capped a four-run rally to help the Brewers take an 11-9 victory.
“We had a lot of fun early, then it got a little nervous, and we were able to stay together and come back,” said Prince Fielder, who homered and also tied the game in the ninth with a single. "I’m just proud of my team.
Francisco Rodriguez (5-2), who Milwaukee acquired in a trade with New York last month, got the win in his first appearance against his former team despite allowing the Mets to go ahead in the eighth with a three-run frame.
Milwaukee now leads St. Louis by 8 1/2 games for first place in the NL Central, the largest division lead for the club in team history.
Also, thanks to a 21-3 run since losing consecutive games on July 23-24, the Brewers stand at 75-52 and are 23 games over .500 for the first time since holding an 80-57 mark on September 1, 2008.
Angel Pagan went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer, Lucas Duda added a two-run pinch-hit double and Ruben Tejada doubled twice and scored twice for the Mets, who rallied from six down, but still fell for the eighth time in their last 10 tries.
After the Mets went ahead in the eighth, the Brewers responded the ninth off of Jason Isringhausen (3-3), who didn’t retire any of the four batters he faced and was pulled after issuing a bases- loaded walk to Mark Kotsay.
Manny Acosta then took the mound and quickly induced a short fly-out to right field from Ryan Braun then had Prince Fielder down in the count, but the burly slugger was able to dig out a low pitch and punch a single to right to tie the game. McGehee then plated two runs with a single to right.
John Axford had no trouble in the ninth as he set down the Mets in order for his 37th save of the season.
“It’s still quite a bit of a battle,” Axford said. “We play [the Cardinals] six more times, and six games can be a lot of ground. Putting the pressure on them, I think, is going to be a good thing for us because we’re playing well and we’re already a laid-back, relaxed team.”
Today it will be Gallardo, who is 13-8 on the year.He did not get a decision on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, despite a terrific outing that saw him allow just a run and four hits in eight innings of a 2-1 win. Gallardo also struck out nine and saw his earned run average dip to 3.55.
The 25-year-old right-hander gave up four runs in four innings of a loss to the Mets the last time he faced them and is 1-2 in four starts against them with a 3.68 ERA.
New York, meanwhile, will counter with right-handed knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who is 5-11 with a 3.77 ERA. Dickey did not factor in the decision of his team’s win over San Diego on Monday, as he allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.
It was the fourth straight start that Dickey had lasted at least six innings, while allowing three runs or less. However, he is 0-3 in that span.
“It’s just been a year where I’ve really had to fight and nothing’s been real clean,” Dickey said. “It’s been a real grind.”
Dickey is 1-1 in four games (two starts) against the Brewers with a 2.65 ERA.
The Mets took two of three in Milwaukee in the first meeting between the clubs this year after the Brewers won five of seven in 2010.