Mets 9, Brewers 1
NEW YORK (AP)—Oliver Perez pitched so well that Mets manager Willie Randolph grinned while criticizing the left-hander for committing one of his pet peeves.
The only hit Perez allowed before the ninth was a third-inning single to pitcher Chris Capuano, earning a mild rebuke from his otherwise thrilled manager.
“Man, don’t throw a pitcher a fastball when you’ve got him 0-1,” Randolph said. “If he threw him a breaking ball he might’ve gotten that one and might be thinking about a no-hitter. But listen, he was outstanding.”
Carlos Beltran hit a two-run homer with his pink Mother’s Day bat and Easley also connected for the Mets, who won two of three in the series to cool off the NL Central leaders.
Milwaukee, which began the day with the best record in baseball at 25-11, had won 11 of 13.
“I felt pretty good about it,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said about the series. “Our defense was really good. Our baserunning was good. We got outpitched in the final game, that’s all.”
Carlos Gomez had an exciting major league debut for New York, getting two hits and scoring twice. Called up from the minors before the game when struggling pitcher Mike Pelfrey was sent to Triple-A New Orleans, the speedy Gomez also stole a base and made a diving catch in right field.
The 21-year-old Gomez said he got some good advice from teammate Jose Reyes before the game.
“He told me, ‘Don’t be scared. Play your game,”’ said Gomez, who saved the ball and bat from his first hit and planned to give them to his parents after he gets the rest of the Mets to sign the ball.
David Wright had a career-best three stolen bases for New York, which handed Capuano his first loss of the season. Reyes scored twice and Perez even added an RBI single to help the Mets break it open with a five-run eighth.
Perez (4-3) cruised into the ninth before Bill Hall homered with one out. Randolph then pulled the left-hander, drawing loud boos from the Shea Stadium crowd of 51,427.
Fans quickly started cheering again as Perez bolted off the mound and jumped over the first-base line on his way to the dugout—his regular custom. The cheers continued as he held his hat over his heart and waved to the crowd.
Perez has alternated wins and losses in his seven starts, but said he isn’t focused on his record.
“I’m just trying to make pitches,” Perez said. “I don’t want to just throw the ball. I want to be down in the zone, close to the zone and get out of the inning as quick as I can.”
Perez retired seven of his first eight batters before Capuano blooped a single to left with one out in the third.
“He had four pitches going today and he was throwing all of them for strikes,” Milwaukee’s Corey Hart said. “It’s kind of hard to get on a guy when he’s locating everything. He definitely had it working today.”
Easley hit a two-run homer and two RBI singles. Beltran homered in the eighth and Reyes had a run-scoring triple.
Capuano (5-1) got off to a rocky start and never recovered. Reyes drew a leadoff walk in the first and Easley followed with his fifth homer. Wright singled with one out, stole second and scored on Ramon Castro’s two-out RBI single to make it 3-0.
Easley, getting regular playing time with starting second baseman Jose Valentin on the disabled list, added an RBI single in the second and is 8-for-17 (.471) with two homers and five RBIs in his last five games.
“It’s easy to relax knowing I’m going to get another at-bat,” Easley said. “I’m going to see more pitches so in certain opportunities I can take chances.”
Capuano allowed four runs and seven hits in four innings, his second-shortest outing of the season. He threw eight sharp innings in a 3-0 victory over Washington in his previous start.
“It was very much one of those days where I really didn’t have anything working,” Capuano said.
Bill Wegman (1994) is the only Brewers starter to open a season 6-0. … Wright, Hall and Estrada also were among several players who used pink bats as part of baseball’s effort to raise breast cancer awareness on Mother’s Day. … The Brewers dropped to 3-1-2 in road series this season. … Mets LF Moises Alou sat out with a strained left quadriceps and could be headed for the disabled list. … New York 1B Julio Franco, who started to give Carlos Delgado a rest, struck out three times with a runner on base.