Brewers-Mets Preview

The Associated Press

Kyle Lohse bounced back from his previous worst outing of the season with his best one.

The visiting Milwaukee Brewers would like to see history repeat itself Thursday night when their three-game series with the New York Mets concludes.

Lohse (7-2, 3.27 ERA) has been a key contributor to Milwaukee's surge to the top of the NL Central. After an off outing May 26 - when he was reached for four runs in 6 2-3 innings - he fired a three-hit shutout against the Chicago Cubs on June 1.

This time, the right-hander is coming off a disastrous showing Friday in Pittsburgh, where he was drilled for season worsts of eight runs and nine hits in five-plus innings of a 15-5 rout by the Pirates that ended his seven-game winning streak.

''The best thing to do is forget about it and get ready for the next one," Lohse said after giving up eight runs for the first time since 2012. "That's the approach I took after I threw the shutout and that's the approach this time.''

He hasn't beaten the Mets (29-36) since 2009, but also hasn't faced them since pitching for St. Louis in 2012. David Wright and Curtis Granderson have given Lohse fits, with Wright going 9 for 21 with two homers and Granderson 8 for 17 with a pair of home runs.

Lohse is 2-4 with a 5.40 ERA in 10 lifetime starts versus New York and is 0-2 with a 6.28 ERA in three starts at Citi Field.

Milwaukee (39-27) beat the Mets 3-1 on Thursday, their seventh loss in eight games. New York went 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position, dropping to 9 for 64 (.141) in such instances over this eight-game swoon.

"I don't know what to say," manager Terry Collins told the team's official website after being ejected for arguing a replay call in the fifth. "I guess I can't probably say much about it."

That lack of clutch production doesn't bode well for Jonathon Niese (3-3, 2.68), who has no record in his last three starts despite giving up two runs in each game while totaling 20 2-3 innings. The Mets backed him with two runs in each outing, and the left-hander left Friday's start at San Francisco after giving up five hits in seven innings of New York's eventual 4-2 defeat.

''It is frustrating for Jon because he threw the ball so well,'' Daniel Murphy said. ''I think he'll be upset that he feels like he may have made a couple of mistakes and they punished him for it. He threw the ball well enough to win.''

Though Niese has a 5.68 ERA in five lifetime starts against the Brewers, he's been solid in the last three - limiting them to five runs and 15 hits in 19 2-3 innings while winning twice. He did not get a decision in his only start versus Milwaukee in 2013, giving up two runs in six innings before New York rallied for a 3-2 win.

Jonathan Lucroy continued his hot June, going 3 for 5 with two doubles and an RBI. Batting a team-high .341 overall and .444 (16 for 36) this month, the Brewers catcher is also 5 for 11 lifetime versus Niese.

''Luke's locked in and he has been for quite a while,'' manager Ron Roenicke said. ''His at-bats are outstanding.''

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