NEW YORK (AP) — Christian Yelich hit his major league-leading 14th home run, tying the record for most before May 1, and the Milwaukee Brewers opened a five-run lead and held on to beat the New York Mets 8-6 Saturday night.
Yelich’s fourth-inning homer off Noah Syndergaard (1-3) was the first on the road this season for the NL MVP. His 14 homers matched Albert Pujols (2006) and Alex Rodriguez (2007) for the most through the first full month of the season. Yelich had three hits, a walk and two RBIs, raising his average to .350, and stole the 100th base of his big league career.
Ben Gamel also homered for the Brewers, who have won five straight against New York and go for a three-game sweep Sunday. Gio González starts for the Brewers on Sunday, a day after finalizing a $2 million, one-year contract to rejoin Milwaukee.
New York, on its first three-game losing streak, dropped to .500 for the first time this season at 13-13 following a 9-4 start. Syndergaard gave up five runs, 10 hits and three walks in five innings on his bobblehead night. His ERA rose from 5.90 to 6.35.
Brandon Woodruff (3-1) allowed one run on six hits in five innings, leaving with a 6-1 lead.
Amed Rosario homered off Alex Wilson leading off the seventh and Pete Alonso hit a three-run homer against Alex Claudio, the rookie’s ninth homer this season.
Yelich singled home a run against Jeurys Familia in the eighth and Yasmani Grandal hit an RBI grounder that boosted the Brewers’ lead to 8-5.
Rosario hit an RBI single in the bottom half off Jeremy Jeffress. Josh Hader relieved with a man on and struck out Todd Frazier, Wilson Ramos and Jeff McNeil on 11 pitches.
Hader needed nine pitches to get through the ninth, striking out Alonso and Robinson Canó on three fastballs each, then retired Conforto on a groundout. Hader has 29 strikeouts in 14 innings and has converted all six of his save chances.
Milwaukee built a 3-0 lead with the help of Eric Thames’ two-run single in the third.
Conforto walked with the bases loaded in the third, but Milwaukee went ahead 6-1 on the fourth-inning homers by Gamel and Yelich, and Moustakas’ run-scoring single in the sixth.
Milwaukee’s first run scored after Moustakas hit a slow roller to third baseman J.D. Davis, whose throw to first beat Moustakas only or the ball to pop out of Alonso’s glove. First base umpire Todd Tichenor signaled out as Lorenzo Cain took a wide turn at second. Alonso picked up the ball, jogged toward second and threw to McNeil, coming in to cover second. The ball sailed off the glove of a leaping McNeil and into left field for an error as Cain scored.
Mets INF Jed Lowrie (left knee) continues to hit at extended spring training.
González is 11-2 with a 1.75 ERA in 17 starts at Citi Field. Mets LHP Steven Matz (2-1) has a 3.27 ERA in his last 17 starts at Citi Field.
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