Right-hander Mike Fiers tries for the 10th win of his major-league career Friday when the Milwaukee Brewers host the New York Mets to begin a three-game weekend series at Miller Park.
The Hollywood, Fla. native allowed two hits in two scoreless relief innings with the Brewers last season, then debuted this season in late May and posted a 1.96 earned run average through 10 outings while winning just three times.
He's been more successful with wins and losses since, however, going 6-3 in his last nine appearances, though the ERA has climbed substantially from 1.96 to 3.05.
Fiers was a 6-3 winner at St. Louis in his most recent outing on Sept. 8, allowing a run on five hits in five innings with three walks and five strikeouts.
He has never faced the Mets.
For New York, lefty Jonathon Niese takes the mound with a chance to equal his career-high in wins.
The seventh-round draft pick in 2005 had his major-league breakout season with 11 wins in 27 outings while putting up a 4.40 earned run average in 157 1/3 innings.
He got to win No. 10 this season with a 2-0 defeat of Washington on Aug. 18, but has dropped three consecutive attempts at the record-tying triumph while losing to Houston, Philadelphia and Atlanta.
In those three games, Niese has allowed seven runs in 20 hits in 19 innings.
He's 1-0 lifetime against the Brewers in three starts.
On Wednesday in New York, Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond each hit a solo homer to help the Washington Nationals complete a three-game sweep of the Mets with a 2-0 decision at Citi Field.
Even though he posted double-digit strikeouts for the second time in his career, Matt Harvey (3-5) was given no run support and was charged with the loss. The rookie right-hander fanned 10 Nationals, one shy of his career high, but gave up Zimmerman's blast as one of five hits he allowed in five- plus frames.
"I felt good early and then I think I pressed to do too much," Harvey said. "That's a mistake that I regret and need to learn from."
After setting a franchise record on Tuesday for most consecutive home games without scoring more than three runs, New York extended its streak to 13 in Wednesday night's loss.
In Milwaukee, Rickie Weeks hit a three-run home run as the Brewers used a big fifth inning to take an 8-2 win over the Atlanta Braves and sweep a three-game set.
Travis Ishikawa hit a three-run double in the big inning for the Brewers, who have won five of six to move three games behind St. Louis for the final wild card spot in the National League.
"I thought even when we were playing under .500 that we had the personnel to get over and get back in the chase," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "At our lowest point, I still thought we had it in us, but I still had some doubts that we would get back in it. But a lot of the young guys we've called up have performed well."
Yovani Gallardo (15-8) won his seventh straight decision as he gave up just two runs on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts over seven innings of work.
The Mets and Brewers split two games in a series in New York in May, after Milwaukee won four of six games between the teams in 2011.