Mets 5, Brewers 4

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NEW YORK (AP)—Buzz cuts have been a perfect tonic for the Mets.

David Wright, Carlos Delgado and Damion Easley homered, helping New York to a 5-4 victory over Milwaukee on Friday night that gave the Mets three straight wins since a shaving spree in San Francisco left nearly all of them with close-cropped hair.

They returned home to signs of “Play Bald!” on the videoboards inside and outside the ballpark.

“We didn’t get any prettier, but we’re playing pretty good baseball since this happened,” Wright said. “Hopefully the streak continues.”

New York (22-12) stopped a six-game winning streak for Milwaukee, the hottest team in the major leagues. Jorge Sosa (2-0) won his second straight start since coming back from the minors and beat Jeff Suppan (5-3), who pitched at Shea Stadium for the first time since helping the St. Louis Cardinals win Game 7 of last year’s NL championship series.

The Mets took a 4-0 lead in the fourth and won for the seventh time in nine games, defeating a club that came to town with a big league-best 24-10 record and 10 wins in 11 games.

“If I’m around the house and they’re on TV, I’ll definitely stop and watch them,” Wright said. “They play with energy. They remind us a lot of ourselves. They go out there. They have fun. They smile. They laugh. They have a good time.”

Geoff Jenkins, Prince Fielder and J.J. Hardy homered for the Brewers, whose seven-game lead in the NL Central is the franchise’s largest since divisional play began in 1969. Coming off a 9-1 homestand, Milwaukee began a stretch in which it plays 13 of 16 on the road.

Sosa, starting while Orlando Hernandez is sidelined by a shoulder injury, allowed two runs—on homers by Jenkins and Fielder—and four hits in 6 2-3 innings. He said he regained confidence in his slider at Triple-A.

“He kept us off balance, mixed it up,” Jenkins said.

Suppan frustrated the Mets last October, when he allowed one run and five hits in 15 innings, earning MVP honors for St. Louis in its seven-game victory over New York. And he entered having won his five previous starts.

He didn’t allow any hits in the first three innings, then gave up six in the fourth—the first six-hit inning off Suppan since Aug. 23, 2002, for Kansas City at Minnesota, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Suppan started six of his first eight batters in the inning with balls. He didn’t give up a hit in any of his other five innings.

“Some pitches were up in the zone and in the middle of the plate,” he said. “In that fourth inning, I wasn’t able to locate the way I wanted.”

Wright led off the fourth with a home run into the left-field bleachers, Carlos Beltran beat out an infield single to first and Delgado homered to left— he’s homered in two straight games after hitting one in New York’s first 32.

“For the last week or so I’ve been feeling better at the plate,” Delgado said. “Every time I’m able stay back and drive the ball to the opposite field, it’s a good sign.”

Moises Alou doubled off the center-field wall and scored on Paul Lo Duca’s one-out single. Suppan escaped further trouble when he retired Jose Reyes on an inning-ending flyout with runners on second and third.

Jenkins golfed a home run in the fifth inning and Fielder connected on a high pitch in the sixth for his 11th homer, making it 4-2.

Easley homered in the seventh on the second pitch from Carlos Villanueva. Aaron Heilman then allowed Rickie Weeks to reach on a leadoff single off his glove in the eighth before Hardy’s homer. Billy Wagner finished with a perfect ninth for his ninth save in nine chances.

Mets manager Willie Randolph, asked whether the haircuts had anything to do with the wins, answered sarcastically.

“Is that what it is? Wow, we should do that more often, I guess,” he said. “I’ll just set up a barber’s chair in the clubhouse so we can keep that going. Whatever it takes.”

Notes

Reyes, one of the few Mets not to get a trim, said he might on Saturday. He went 0-for-3, ending his hitting streak at 14 games. … Milwaukee’s Craig Counsell singled in the fifth to stop an 0-for-13 slide. … Brewers closer Francisco Cordero turned 32. He had pitched in Milwaukee’s previous six games but did not get in Friday night. … Lo Duca has thrown out the last four runners attempting to steal on him. … Mets reliever Pedro Feliciano struck out pinch-hitter Corey Hart with two on to end the seventh, extending his career-best scoreless streak to 15 2-3 innings.

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