Brewers-Mets Preview

The Associated Press

The Milwaukee Brewers are ending on a far better note than they began.

Even with New York's flimsy finish, manager Terry Collins appears poised to return to the Mets.

The Brewers try to cap the season with a four-game sweep of the Mets on Sunday at Citi Field.

Milwaukee (74-87) won Saturday 4-2 in 10 innings to pick up its 12th win in 17 games, a far departure from its 2-8 start to the season. Carlos Gomez snapped out of a 3-for-25 slump with four hits, including the go-ahead single.

"It's one of those days like, everything you hit, you have to take it," Gomez said. "Tomorrow is the last one and finish hard, get another win.''

The Mets (73-88) have lost three straight and will finish with a losing record for a fifth straight year, but Collins is close to an agreement to remain manager as the club attempts to build a winner.

"It would be a blast,'' Collins said. "But again, we will wait 'til the end of the year to smile about it.''

Fielding an inexperienced lineup depleted by injuries and trades, Collins has kept the Mets competitive down the stretch without most of his top players.

"If it happens, it's well-deserved,'' said team captain David Wright, who has been limited to 111 games because of injuries. "If you look at the players he's had to manage and the trades and injuries he's had to endure, he's done a nice job. Obviously we aren't where we want to be as a team, but that's not an indication of his job. We have a young team and Terry provides the fire. ... It is a really good fit.''

One thing Collins has been unable to do is find a way to beat Milwaukee at Citi Field.

The Brewers have won 10 of 11 at the Mets' ballpark.

Marco Estrada (7-4, 4.02 ERA) takes the ball in the finale looking to lead Milwaukee to its first four-game sweep of New York.

Estrada was 4-4 with a 5.32 ERA when a strained left hamstring landed him on the disabled list. He has since gone 3-0 with a 2.26 ERA. That included a win over Atlanta on Monday, when he allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings.

"I thought Marco threw the ball outstanding," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "His changeup was great, located his fastball well and threw some nice curveballs. When he has that changeup going, he's capable of throwing this against anybody."

Before he was sidelined, the right-hander yielded 14 home runs in 69 1-3 innings. He has allowed five in 51 2-3 since.

New York has one homer in its last four contests, while going 3 for 32 with runners in scoring position.

Estrada has struggled in five relief outings against the Mets, posting a 14.54 ERA, last facing them in 2011.

Jonathon Niese (8-8, 3.74) is slated to start Sunday, one of four opening day starters to take the field for the Mets in the finale, joining Wright, Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda.

Niese is 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA since missing a month and a half with a partially torn left rotator cuff. The left-hander held Cincinnati to two runs in seven innings of a 4-2 win on Tuesday.

The Mets, with 13 runs over their last six games, seek to avoid ending their season with four straight losses for the first time since 1998.