Ryan Braun hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth inning Friday night for the host Milwaukee Brewers, who went on to beat the New York Mets 3-1 in the opener of a three-game series.
Braun finished 3-for-4 for the Brewers, who snapped a two-game losing streak. The Mets have alternated losses with wins over the last seven games.
The teams traded runs in the first inning, when three of the Mets’ first four batters reached against Brandon Woodruff before Wilson Ramos laced an RBI single. But leadoff batter Lorenzo Cain got the run back for the Brewers with a home run on the third pitch he saw from New York starter Steven Matz. It was the fifth career leadoff homer for Cain.
The Brewers stranded five runners over the next four innings before finally cashing in against Matz in the fifth, when Yasmani Grandal drew a leadoff walk and Braun followed with a homer to straightaway center field.
That helped make a winner out of Woodruff (4-1), who allowed the one run on six hits and two walks while striking out seven over five innings.
Alex Claudio tossed a hitless sixth and Junior Guerra threw a perfect seventh before Josh Hader earned his eighth save by striking out five over two scoreless innings. After a perfect eighth, Hader ran into trouble in the ninth, when he gave up a leadoff double to Michael Conforto and walked Ramos before striking out J.D. Davis, Todd Frazier and Amed Rosario.
Hader has struck out 10 batters in four innings against the Mets this season.
Hernan Perez also had three hits for the Brewers while Mike Moustakas added two hits.
Matz (3-2) allowed the three runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out three over 5 2/3 innings.
Conforto had two hits for the Mets. Robinson Cano was 0-for-3 and remained one hit shy of 2,500 for his career.
—Field Level Media