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New York at Milwaukee

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N.Y. Mets (25-25)111300000690
Milwaukee (21-28) «41210000x891

Hart powers Brewers with grand slam, homer in first two at-bats

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Corey Hart no longer comes into the clubhouse anxiously looking at the lineup card to see if he's playing. On a team with sluggers such as Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, Hart is currently the Brewers' best bopper.

Hart hit a grand slam and a two-run homer in his first two times up to lift the Milwaukee Brewers to an 8-6 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday night.

"Hopefully I can stay comfortable and keep producing," Hart said. "For us, we've been up and down and we've tried to solidify the consistency in the lineup. I think that just helps to take pressure of those guys if I can stay on good pace."

Hart's homers in the first and third gave him 12 for the season, tying his total from last year, and three in three consecutive plate appearances. He belted the first game-winning homer of his career Friday night to snap New York's five-game winning streak and 35-inning shutout streak.

Ike Davis hit a three-run shot for New York, but the Mets dropped to 6-16 away from Citi Field with a 3-12 mark in this month.

"I still see some fight in the team. I see us coming back in games, scoring in different frames and having opportunities. I still see a lot of positives happening on the road," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "We just can't seem to get over the hump. I think we will."

All 14 runs were scored in the first four innings, but Todd Coffey (2-1) came in for Milwaukee with the bases loaded in the fifth. He went on to retire seven straight batters after being forced to use a different glove from his light tan version for the first time in his six-year career.

Manuel said he told the umpires about his concerns with the glove.

"I'll get a clarification on the rules," said Coffey, who wore a backup black glove. "Let's be honest, all I do is catch it back from the catcher."

Carlos Villanueva pitched a perfect eighth and John Axford -- not all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman -- pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save. The three relievers combined to retire the last 13 batters.

"It's a tough situation to be in," Axford said. "I don't hold a flame to Trevor Hoffman. I'm not thinking about that, really. I'm just trying to get my job done."

Brewers manager Ken Macha said Axford's performances have made it hard not to keep him in the ninth-inning role.

"I'm not eliminating Trevor," Macha said. "I want to give him a few more innings, but it'll be nice if we have coverage like that."

George Kottaras also went deep for the Brewers, who have won four of their last five at home after a 4-14 start at Miller Park.

Hart temporarily lost his starting job to begin the season. He heard plenty of boos early, but that's long forgotten now after nine homers and 19 RBI in his last 14 games.

"I've had some critics out there, but it's nice from not playing every day to being in there and producing," Hart said. "It was a rough start because I was trying to win them back."

Hart's 12 homers are just three less than the combined total of 15 by All-Stars Fielder (seven) and Braun (eight).

Mets starter Fernando Nieve (1-3) got two outs to start the first before loading the bases on Braun's double and two walks. Hart hit a breaking ball that didn't move much over the Brewers bullpen on nearly the same path of his Friday night homer for his first grand slam.

"I had some concerns but I felt that he deserved an opportunity to start," Manuel said of Nieve's first start this season while the Mets deal with injuries to their starting rotation.

Kottaras added his solo shot in the second and Hart came out for a curtain call after his two-run homer off Oliver Perez in the third made it 7-3. Davis answered the next inning against reliever Marco Estrada to make it 7-6, but Rickie Weeks tripled to start the fourth and scored on a double-play grounder by Braun.

A night after Johan Santana and Yovani Gallardo shut down hitters until the bottom of the ninth, the hitters got their revenge against spot starters.

Nieve lasted two innings in his first start of the season, giving up five runs and Perez allowed three. Brewers starter Manny Parra gave up three runs in three innings and Estrada was tagged for three more.

"I wasn't sharp enough," Nieve said. "I was behind too many people."

Notes
  • Mets LHP Jonathon Niese (right hamstring) threw 35 pitches in a Saturday bullpen session and will start in Triple-A Buffalo on Monday.
  • Both teams wore Negro League throwback uniforms representing the Milwaukee Bears (1923) and the New York Cubans (1935-36, 1939-50).
  • The Brewers purchased the contract of LHP Chris Capuano and designated RHP Claudio Vargas for assignment.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Corey Hart follows up his walk-off homer on Friday with blasts in his first two plate appearances. (AP)
Corey Hart follows up his walk-off homer on Friday with blasts in his first two plate appearances. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

C. Hart
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 6
New York

I. Davis
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4121120 .254
Luis Castillo, 2B4100103 .235
Jason Bay, LF5221015 .299
Ike Davis, 1B5113012 .272
David Wright, 3B4000121 .244
Angel Pagan, CF5120030 .292
Rod Barajas, C4001001 .270
Jeff Francoeur, RF3020110 .226
Fernando Nieve, P1000002 .000
   a- Gary Matthews Jr., PH1000013 .179
    Oliver Perez, P0000000 .111
   b- Alex Cora, PH1000010 .230
    Elmer Dessens, P0000000 .000
   c- Chris Carter, PH1000000 .294
    Jenrry Mejia, P0000000 .000
    Ryota Igarashi, P0000000 .000
Totals38696412  
a-struck out for Nieve in the 3rd
b-struck out for Perez in the 5th
c-popped out for Dessens in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jason Bay (12, Parra)
HR - Ike Davis (5, M. Estrada)
RBI - Jose Reyes (18), Jason Bay (23), Ike Davis 3 (15), Rod Barajas (28)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Reyes (4)
SB - Jose Reyes (12, 2nd base off Parra/Kottaras), Angel Pagan (9, 2nd base off Parra/Kottaras), Jeff Francoeur (5, 2nd base off M. Estrada/Kottaras)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Castillo-Davis
New York Mets
Fernando Nieve (L,1-3) 2355352 6.48
Oliver Perez 2333221 6.25
Elmer Dessens 2100010 3.38
Jenrry Mejia 1100100 3.27
Ryota Igarashi 1100000 5.79
Pitches-Strikes - Fernando Nieve 62-34, Oliver Perez 38-23, Elmer Dessens 22-13, Jenrry Mejia 24-14, Ryota Igarashi 12-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Oliver Perez 1-2, Elmer Dessens 2-3, Jenrry Mejia 1-2, Ryota Igarashi 1-2
Batters Faced - Fernando Nieve 12, Oliver Perez 10, Elmer Dessens 7, Jenrry Mejia 5, Ryota Igarashi 4
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B5110021 .241
George Kottaras, C4111111 .226
Ryan Braun, LF4120010 .325
Prince Fielder, 1B2210210 .268
Casey McGehee, 3B3100103 .308
Corey Hart, RF4226002 .267
Carlos Gomez, CF3010102 .261
Alcides Escobar, SS3010112 .253
Manny Parra, P2000021 .200
    Marco Estrada, P0000000 .000
    Todd Coffey, P1000000 .000
    Carlos Villanueva, P0000000 .000
   a- Joe Inglett, PH1000001 .333
    John Axford, P0000000 .000
Totals3289768  
a-popped out-bunting for Villanueva in the 8th
Batting
2B - Ryan Braun (15, Nieve)
3B - Rickie Weeks (2, Perez), Carlos Gomez (2, Dessens)
HR - George Kottaras (4, Nieve), Corey Hart 2 (12, Nieve, Perez)
RBI - George Kottaras (12), Corey Hart 6 (31)
2-OUT RBI - George Kottaras (3), Corey Hart 4 (15)
SB - Ryan Braun (11, 2nd base off Mejia/Barajas), Alcides Escobar (2, 2nd base off Igarashi/Barajas)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - George Kottaras (2, Misplayed grounder)
Milwaukee Brewers
Manny Parra 3633320 4.06
Marco Estrada 1.2333141 7.20
Todd Coffey (W,2-1) 2.1000030 3.91
Carlos Villanueva (H,7) 1000020 2.70
John Axford (S,2) 1000010 2.25
IBB - Francoeur by Manny Parra
WP - Marco Estrada (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Manny Parra 78-46, Marco Estrada 52-33, Todd Coffey 29-19, Carlos Villanueva 14-9, John Axford 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Manny Parra 4-3, Marco Estrada 2-1, Todd Coffey 1-3, John Axford 1-1
Batters Faced - Manny Parra 18, Marco Estrada 11, Todd Coffey 7, Carlos Villanueva 3, John Axford 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37841
Game Time - 3:28
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Mark Carlson, Second Base - Angel Campos, Third Base - Jeff Nelson