Friday, June 13, 2014
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Lucroy fuels Brewers' extra-innings win over Mets

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[June 13, 2014]  NEW YORK -- Jonathan Lucroy was behind the plate for all 179 pitches thrown Thursday night by Milwaukee Brewers pitchers. The Brewers' catcher rewarded their work with one swing of the bat in the 13th inning.

Lucroy's two-run homer with none out in the 13th snapped a tie and fueled a four-run inning for the Brewers, who beat the New York Mets 5-1 at Citi Field.

"It was a lot of fun to be a part of," said Lucroy, who homered on the eve of his 28th birthday. "Although I wish we would have gotten done a little earlier."

Impressive pitching by both the Brewers and the Mets turned a seemingly quick game -- the first nine innings took just two hours and 24 minutes -- into a marathon.

A quintet of Brewers pitchers -- including right-hander Kyle Lohse, who allowed an unearned run over eight innings -- combined on a six-hitter as Milwaukee (40-27) finished an eight-game road trip at 5-3 and increased its NL Central lead to 5 1/2 games over idle St. Louis.

"I tried to get us out of there quick," Lohse said with a grin after allowing four hits and walking none while striking out three. "But their guy wasn't cooperating."

Right-hander Brandon Kintzler worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the 11th before left-hander Zach Duke (4-0) and right-hander Francisco Rodriguez tossed perfect frames in the 12th and 13th.

"The way our guys threw tonight was awesome -- the bullpen came in and shut it down, but it all started with 'Lohsy' just setting the pace and the tone," Lucroy said.

Mets pitchers, led by left-hander Jonathon Niese (one run on six hits and one walk with a season-high eight strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings) matched the Brewers for 12 innings. Four Mets relievers retired 11 in a row between the eighth and 11th innings before right-hander Carlos Torres escaped a two-on, one-out jam in the top of the 12th.

Finally, the Brewers broke through in the 13th, when they sent 10 men to the plate. After right fielder Ryan Braun led off with an infield single against Torres, Lucroy -- who was 0-for-5 with just one ball hit to the outfield -- crushed a hanging curveball deep into the left field seats.

The hit extended Lucroy's hitting streak to nine games. He is hitting .336, second in the National League behind Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki.

"You watch him all year and you know he's going to put good at-bats together," Lohse said. "That was obviously real big at that moment. That's why we love him over here and love the job he's doing. Calls a great game too. So he's really putting it all together. It's awesome to watch."

The Brewers added two more runs on an RBI single by first baseman Mark Reynolds and a bases loaded hit by pitch drawn by second baseman Richie Weeks.

"Took a long time to get some offense," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said with a grin. "But we had great pitching today."

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Third baseman Aramis Ramirez went 3-for-5 with a second-inning solo homer. That looked as if it might be enough for Lohse when he needed just 29 pitches to set down the first nine Mets, but New York tied the game in the fourth when second baseman Daniel Murphy singled, raced to third when centerfielder Carlos Gomez misplayed the ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Bobby Abreu.

The Mets (29-37) stranded seven runners between the ninth and 11th as they lost for the eighth time in nine games. Seven of those losses have been by two runs or less.

"We haven't played well, I'm not making any excuse for that, but we don't get blown out by anybody," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We just haven't been able to come up with a hit when we need a hit."

NOTES: The 11th inning was an eventful one Thursday. In the top of the inning, Mets RHP Jenrry Mejia exited with back spasms before throwing a pitch. A few minutes later, a downpour drenched Citi Field, which resulted in a three-minute rain delay. In the bottom of the inning, Mets C Anthony Recker was tossed after he argued a called third strike with home plate umpire Angel Hernandez. ... Mets OF Curtis Granderson was out of the starting lineup with a sore calf. He drew an intentional walk as a pinch-hitter in the 11th. ... Injured Mets OF Eric Young began a rehab assignment at Class A St. Lucie on Thursday. He went 1-for-4 with two runs. Young went on the disabled list May 25 because of a right hamstring strain. ... Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said RHP Wily Peralta, who left the team immediately after his start Wednesday night to tend to a family matter in his native Dominican Republic, remains on schedule to rejoin the team Sunday and pitch Monday in Arizona. ... Upon returning home Friday, the Brewers will unveil their Wall of Honor that will carry plaques of the inaugural class of 58 inductees.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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