The New York Mets will have to put their short-term memory into use when they open a four-game homestand tonight with back-to-back games against the Milwaukee Brewers from Citi Field.
The Mets lost two of three meetings with the Miami Marlins on the road over the weekend and imploded during Sunday's 8-4 loss in the series finale. Heading into the bottom of the ninth inning with a 4-2 lead, Mets closer Frank Francisco gave up a leadoff triple to Emilio Bonifacio, who later scored on Greg Dobbs' single. Manny Acosta then entered the game after Francisco was ejected for arguing with homeplate umpire Todd Tichenor.
Acosta was quickly accosted and loaded the bases for Marlins slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who cracked a game-winning grand slam with two outs for an 8-4 win. Francisco was dealt the loss and starting pitcher Jon Niese's six shutout innings went to waste in the no-decision.
"I feel we've been playing good baseball. We just let a couple get away from us, but it's all about how we bounce back," Niese said.
Justin Turner drove in two runs, while Daniel Murphy finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored and Kirk Nieuwenhuis added a pair of hits for New York, which had won six of seven games and went 4-2 on a six-game road trip.
Toeing the rubber tonight in the opener of this set for the Mets will be Miguel Batista. Batista is filling in for injured starter Mike Pelfrey and did not figure into the decision of last Tuesday's 7-4 win at Philadelphia, as he gave up four runs -- two earned -- and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. Batista is 0-1 with a 5.89 ERA in 11 games (2 starts) this season.
The right-hander owns a 1-0 mark in 12 career games, three of which have been starts, against the Brewers with a 2.72 ERA.
Milwaukee will play four straight road games against the Mets and Astros, and completed a recent six-game homestand with an even 3-3 mark.
In Sunday's 8-2 loss versus the Chicago Cubs, Marco Estrada threw six innings of two-run ball for the no-decision and Kameron Loe was dealt the loss for permitting the go-ahead run in the seventh. Manny Parra and Vinnie Chulk surrendered two and three runs, respectively, in defeat.
"I think things are turning around for us," Estrada said on the team's website. "Every single guy is going out there, giving us five-plus innings. They've all pitched really well these last couple of outings."
Taylor Green knocked in two runs for the Brewers, whose 10-game winning streak as the host versus the Cubs came to an end. Milwaukee had won two straight and three of four games, and hope to get second baseman Rickie Weeks back soon because of a bruised left hand. He missed his second straight start Sunday.
Yovani Gallardo gets the nod for Milwaukee tonight against the Mets and is aiming for consecutive victories on the mound. Gallardo put the brakes on a personal two-game slide and was winless in four starts (0-2) before Tuesday's 8-3 triumph over Cincinnati in which he fired six innings of two-run ball with a season high-tying eight K's.
Gallardo, who is 1-2 in three road outings this season, looks to push his career record against the Mets over the .500 mark. The right-hander owns a 2-2 mark in six career starts in this series to go along with a 3.47 ERA.
The Brewers and Mets are meeting for the first time since Milwaukee took four of six matchups a year ago. The Brewers have won six in a row as the visitor in this series.