Shaun Marcum turned in two winning seasons in Milwaukee. He hopes his first return to Miller Park since leaving the Brewers helps him earn a victory when he takes the ball for the New York Mets on Saturday night.
Marcum (1-9, 5.03 ERA) was a combined 20-11 for the Brewers the past two years with ERAs under 4.00 in both, but he hasn’t been nearly as effective in 2013.
The Mets (36-47) have picked up wins in his last two starts after dropping nine of the first 11. Marcum followed up eight scoreless innings in winning his previous start by allowing three runs in six innings of a 5-4, 13-inning victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday.
Marcum, who would have the lowest run-support average in the league if he had enough innings to qualify, has gotten 19 runs in his 13 starts.
His fortunes could change Saturday as the Mets appear to be coming around offensively, recording double-digit hits in five straight games, the first time they’ve done that since July 2011.
New York’s Kirk Nieuwenhuis set career highs with four hits and five RBIs to help power Friday’s 12-5 win. He’s gone 8 for 13 over the past four games.
“I don’t know if I have ever done it. It feels great,” Nieuwenhuis said. “I have just been trying to stay more direct to the ball. Other than that, relaxing at the plate.”
The Mets have won three straight and nine of 13 away from home, posting a 2.45 ERA while holding opponents to a .190 batting average with runners in scoring position.
Milwaukee has lost eight of 10, though its bats are also beginning to heat up. The Brewers (34-51) have scored 23 runs in the past five games after managing 11 in the previous five.
The Brewers’ fielding continues to be a problem, however, as they made three more errors Friday to give them 13 in the past 10 games.
“We sure didn’t play well,” manager Ron Roenicke said.
Yovani Gallardo (6-8, 4.78) looks to recover from his worst start of the season Monday, when he allowed a season-high eight runs in three innings of a 10-5 loss at Washington.
The right-hander has posted a 6.64 ERA in his last four starts versus New York, which has batted .326 against him in that span.
David Wright is 3 for 16 with eight strikeouts against Gallardo.