Third baseman Casey McGehee(notes) committed a two-run error in the sixth but hit his first career grand slam in the same inning, sparking NL Central-leading Milwaukee (41-35) to a 10-6 win in Monday’s series opener. The Brewers had lost five straight to the Mets at Miller Park since a 4-2, 13-inning victory on July 31, 2007.
“If somebody would have told me this time last year I’d have 40,000 people calling me out of a dugout for a curtain call, I would’ve told you you were lying,” said McGehee, who played nine games with the Chicago Cubs last season.
Hardy hit a solo homer and matched a career high with four hits. He was 0 for 12 with four strikeouts as Milwaukee was swept in New York from April 17-19.
Burns looks for his first major league victory in his second career start. After making 46 career relief appearances, Burns was called up from Triple-A Nashville to replace the injured Dave Bush(notes) (right triceps tear) last Thursday. Burns allowed four runs and six hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 6-4 loss to Minnesota.
“When you fall behind 2-0, 3-0, you put yourself in a situation where you still have to try to make quality pitches, and I wasn’t doing that,” he told the team’s official Web site after walking three.
Burns makes his second career appearance against the Mets. The right-hander pitched two scoreless innings in 2006 while with Cincinnati.
The Mets (37-38), meanwhile, have slipped below .500 for the first time since May 5.
“We’re a below average team. Period,” New York Manager Jerry Manuel said after the opener of his team’s seven-game trip.
Right-hander Fernando Nieve(notes) yielded a career-high 11 hits in 3 1-3 innings as New York allowed a season-high 19. Since Johan Santana’s(notes) last start— Thursday’s 3-2 win over St. Louis—Mets starters are 0-4 with a 5.66 ERA.
Santana (9-5, 3.08), who goes for double-digit victories for the seventh straight season, takes the mound as New York tries to avoid its first five-game slide since June 5-10, 2008. In Thursday’s victory, the two-time Cy Young Award winner gave up two runs over seven innings. Santana, though, went 3-0 to four of the first 11 Cardinals he faced.
“My fastball,” he said, “was moving all over the place.”
Santana makes his second start against the Brewers in 2009. On April 18, the left-hander threw seven innings of five-hit ball in a 1-0 victory. Santana is 4-2 with a 2.96 ERA in eight career starts versus Milwaukee.
Milwaukee is 10-15 all-time versus the Mets at Miller Park.