Mets waste Niese's gem, lose 5-1 in 13

MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Sports Writer Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- By the end of his team's latest deflating loss, Carlos Torres was punching himself in the head.

Hard.

It's been that kind of month for the New York Mets and their anemic offense.

Jonathan Lucroy hit a tiebreaking homer off Torres in a four-run 13th inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers outlasted the Mets 5-1 on Thursday night after an unusual rain delay that lasted all of 3 minutes.

"We had our opportunities," struggling Mets star David Wright said. "We have to do a better job."

The slumping Mets stranded seven runners from the ninth through the 11th and blew a bases-loaded opportunity with a chance to win. They lost for the eighth time in nine games and fell a season-worst eight games under .500 at 29-37.

Minus ailing cleanup hitter Curtis Granderson, the Mets wasted another strong outing by Jonathon Niese and went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position. They are batting .169 in those situations over the past 22 games.

And to make matters worse, closer Jenrry Mejia left the game with a stiff back.

Mejia said he told bullpen coach Ricky Bones about the tightness he felt before entering the game. The right-hander got two outs in the 10th and went back out for the 11th, but his back flared up as he was throwing warmup pitches.

"I wanted to go out there. That's what I told him: 'I want to go out there and pitch,'" Mejia said. "A little bit of pain. Let's see how I feel tomorrow. I hope I feel better."

Moments after Mejia came out, a sudden downpour halted play. Fans scurried for cover as umpires consulted the grounds crew -- and the radar on a smartphone -- near third base.

Players stayed in the dugout waiting for word and when the rain lightened to a drizzle, the game quickly resumed.

"That was weird. I thought they were going to pull the tarp and bang it and have like a one-inning playoff next time when they come to our place," Lucroy said with a laugh. "Crazy night. Glad we could win and get out of here on a good note."

Aramis Ramirez homered in the second inning and finished with three hits, helping the NL Central leaders take two of three in the series. Milwaukee (40-27) matched its season high at 13 games above .500.

New York took advantage of an error by Gold Glove center fielder Carlos Gomez to tie it in the fourth before Niese and Kyle Lohse settled into a crisp pitchers' duel.

Ryan Braun opened the 13th with an infield single off Torres (2-4). Lucroy, who was hitless in five at-bats after beginning the night with a .341 batting average, drove a hanging curve to left field for his fifth home run.

"Believe me, I was trying to do it earlier than that," Lucroy said. "Sorry."

Mark Reynolds added an RBI single and Rickie Weeks was hit by Dana Eveland's pitch with the bases loaded.

Back in the dugout, a frustrated Torres wiped his face with a towel and punched himself repeatedly on both sides of the head.

Zach Duke (4-0) tossed a perfect inning and Francisco Rodriguez finished in a non-save situation.

Brewers reliever Brandon Kintzler escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the 11th with the help of a five-man infield. Wilmer Flores grounded into a force at the plate before Anthony Recker struck out looking.

Incensed by the call, Recker argued and was quickly ejected by plate umpire Angel Hernandez.

"You can't get thrown out there," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I understand his frustration and everything else, but he's got to know there's nobody left on that bench except one guy."

Lohse, who struggled in three previous starts at Citi Field, held the Mets to an unearned run in eight economical innings.

Niese, meanwhile, gave New York another steady outing with nothing to show for it.

The left-hander struck out a season-high eight in 7 2-3 innings. He has a 2.22 ERA over 28 1-3 innings in his last four games, all no-decisions.

"I felt really good," Niese said. "I knew this is a tough-hitting team against lefties, so I kind of had to go away from how I normally pitch. I used my changeup a lot more."

Daniel Murphy lined a leadoff single in the fourth. The ball skipped past an indecisive Gomez, allowing Murphy to reach third on the two-base error. He scored easily on Bobby Abreu's sacrifice fly.

NOTES: Wright is mired in a 2-for-31 slide. ... Granderson did not start due to a sore left calf. He hopes to be back in the lineup Friday night against San Diego. ... Niese has not allowed more than three earned runs in his past 17 starts dating to last year -- the longest active streak in the majors. ... Milwaukee is 13-6 at Citi Field, the best winning percentage at the ballpark. ... Ruben Tejada had made seven straight starts at shortstop for New York before Flores got the nod Thursday. ... Murphy batted leadoff for the first time since May 26, 2013, according to STATS.

Rockies 10, Braves 3

DENVER -- Corey Dickerson hit Atlanta catcher Gerald Laird with his backswing and tempers quickly flared, setting off a tense sequence and leading to several ejections Thursday as the Colorado Rockies beat the Braves 10-3.

The Rockies led 8-3 in the eighth inning when Dickerson knocked off Laird's facemask with his swing -- Dickerson said it was an accident.

Laird was down for several minutes before walking off and being replaced by Evan Gattis. With his next pitch, Atlanta reliever David Carpenter hit Dickerson in the thigh and was ejected.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss bolted from the dugout and began yelling at Carpenter, as well as in the general direction of Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.

Weiss was held back by plate umpire Jordan Baker before being ejected. When he returned to the dugout, Weiss smashed a bat against the wall.

In the ninth, Rockies reliever Nick Masset hit Gattis in the hip with a pitch. Both Masset and Rockies bench coach Tom Runnells were immediately tossed.

Jhoulys Chacin (1-4) pitched seven scoreless innings. Ervin Santana (5-3) took the loss.

TIGERS 4, WHITE SOX 0

CHICAGO -- Max Scherzer tossed a three-hitter in his first career complete game, and Victor Martinez hit his 16th homer to lead Detroit.

Scherzer (8-2) was back in his 2013 Cy Young form, striking out eight and walking three while outdueling Chicago starter Chris Sale (5-1). Only three times did the White Sox have men in scoring position.

Sale was nearly as sharp as Scherzer. He struck out 10 -- all swinging -- to match a season high and allowed five hits in seven innings.

Martinez hit a solo shot into the left field bullpen to lead off the fifth and Miguel Cabrera drove in two runs for Detroit. Bryan Holiday drove in an insurance run in the ninth.

GIANTS 7, NATIONALS 1

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Hudson threw seven strong innings and left with a major league-best 1.81 ERA as the San Francisco Giants avoided a four-game sweep and beat Washington.

Michael Morse got three hits and scored twice for the Giants, who had a five-game winning streak before Washington came to town. The Nationals have lost just twice in 10 games.

Hudson (7-2) allowed one unearned run and six hits. The Giants are 7-0 in games he has started at home.

Blake Treinen (0-3) remained winless at the major league level despite a 2.08 ERA.

REDS 4, DODGERS 1

CINCINNATI -- Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer off Zack Greinke, who lost his perfect record at Great American Ball Park, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Los Angeles Dodgers for a split of their four-game series.

The Reds won the last two games to finish a 5-5 homestand that left them stuck closer to the bottom of the NL Central than the top.

Alfredo Simon (9-3) gave up seven singles in eight innings, joining the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright as the NL's nine-game winners.

Greinke (8-3) had been 4-0 in five games at Great American.

PHILLIES 7, PADRES 3

PHILADELPHIA -- Pinch-hitter Reid Brignac lined a tiebreaking, two-run double in the sixth inning, John Mayberry Jr. hit a three-run homer and the Philadelphia Phillies beat San Diego in a steady rain to complete a three-game sweep.

Brignac, whose three-run homer in the ninth gave the Phillies a 3-0 victory a night earlier, hit a drive off Dale Thayer for a 4-2 lead.

Mayberry connected an inning later off Alex Torres. Making a spot start for Ryan Howard, Mayberry also doubled twice.

Kyle Kendrick (2-6) allowed one earned run in six innings.

Eric Stults (2-8) allowed four runs and eight hits in five-plus innings.

ORIOLES 4, BLUE JAYS 2

BALTIMORE -- Kevin Gausman gave up one run over six innings and Delmon Young homered for Baltimore.

Nick Markakis had two hits and an RBI for the Orioles, who moved within 3 1-2 games of first-place Toronto in the AL East.

Gausman (2-1) allowed five hits, walked three and struck out three in his second consecutive solid outing.

Zach Britton worked the ninth for his sixth save.

Buehrle (10-3) yielded four runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings to lose his second straight start following a six-game winning streak. The left-hander allowed three runs or fewer in 12 of his previous 13 starts.

Toronto has lost three straight and five of six.

PIRATES 4, CUBS 0

PITTSBURGH -- Andrew McCutchen had two doubles and two RBIs to help Pittsburgh beat Chicago.

Russell Martin also doubled twice for the Pirates and rookie Gregory Polanco got a hit in the third straight game since his call-up. Edinson Volquez (4-5) pitched seven effective innings to win for the third time in his last five starts.

McCutchen, the reigning National League MVP, broke it open with a two-run double in the fifth off Jeff Samardzija (2-6). McCutchen is batting .428 (18 of 42) with 15 extra-base hits in June.

Luis Valbuena had two doubles for the Cubs, who went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position to fall for the fourth time in five games.

RED SOX 5, INDIANS 2

BOSTON -- Jon Lester worked into the eighth inning and David Ortiz hit a two-run homer to lead struggling Boston.

Brock Holt hit a two-run double and Daniel Nava had three hits as the Red Sox won for just the third time in their last 10 games, a dismal stretch that began with a three-game sweep by the Indians last week.

Coming off his shortest start of the season, Lester (7-7) allowed two runs -- one earned -- on eight hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 7 2-3 innings.

Koji Uehara pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save.

Ortiz hit his 15th homer in the fifth against Josh Tomlin (4-3) to make it 3-0.

ASTROS 5, DIAMONDBACKS 4, 10 innings

HOUSTON -- Chris Carter homered leading off the bottom of the 10th inning for Houston.

Carter, who homered twice on Wednesday, hit his 13th homer of the season into the Crawford Boxes in left field off J.J. Putz (1-1).

Miguel Montero tied it at 4-4 in the ninth with a home run on the first pitch by closer Chad Qualls.

Carlos Corporan had a two-run home run and Jon Singleton homered and drove in two runs for the Astros, who have won six of their last eight games.

Tony Sipp (1-0) struck out one in a scoreless 10th for the win.

Singleton drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and broke a 1-all tie with his solo shot in the third. Corporan extended Houston's lead to 4-1 with his home run in the fourth.

Chris Owings hit a solo homer to get Arizona within 4-3 in the seventh inning.

YANKEES 6, MARINERS 3

SEATTLE -- Derek Jeter had a memorable final regular season appearance in Seattle with three hits, two runs scored and two RBIs, and New York completed its first three-game sweep of the season.

Jeter was honored by the Mariners before the start of the series, then helped jump start the Yankees. Jeter had a singles in his first two at-bats off Seattle starter Roenis Elias (5-5), then greeted reliever Dominic Leone with a two-run single in the fourth that gave the Yankees a 6-1 lead.

Jeter finished the series with seven hits.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a two-run homer in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 16 games and gave starter Chase Whitley (2-0) an early lead.

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