Mets go for encore performance at Milwaukee

Ike Davis made his return to the New York Mets after tweaking some things in the minors and hopes to stay on track when his club resumes a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday.

Davis last played with the Mets on June 9 and returned for Friday's 12-5 pounding of the Brewers at Miller Park, finishing 3-for-5 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored. Davis batted .293 with seven home runs in 75 Minor League at-bats.

But the story of Friday's win was Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who went 4-for-4 with five RBI and three runs scored. Nieuwenhuis became the first Met since Mike Piazza on May 27, 2000 to reach base six times in a nine-inning game.

"I don't know if I've ever done that at any level," he said. "It felt great. It was a good night. I just felt relaxed at the plate."

Juan Lagares drove in three runs and Eric Young recorded two hits and three runs scored for the Mets, who opened a nine-game road trip and have won 11 of their last 18 games. The Mets are unbeaten in three straight road games and took advantage of three Milwaukee errors.

"That's how you win at this level," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "If you're going to have games where teams are going to give you outs, you'd better take advantage of it."

Zack Wheeler earned the win in his third major league start and wasn't sharp, as he gave up three runs -- one earned -- and seven hits in five innings. Josh Edgin pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for his first save.

Josh Satin did not play Friday and has reached base safely in his last 15 games played. He has also hit in a career-best 10 straight games.

Toeing the rubber for New York Saturday will be Shaun Marcum. So far the 2013 campaign has been a disappointing one for Marcum, who is just 1-9 with a 5.03 earned run average in 13 games (11 starts). One start after throwing eight shutout innings for a win against the Chicago White Sox, Marcum did not figure into the decision of a 5-4 win over Arizona on Monday.

Marcum held the D'backs to three runs and six hits in six innings. The righty is 1-4 on the road and the former Brewer lost his only career start against Milwaukee on June 18, 2008, when he was reached for four runs in six innings of a 5-4 loss at Miller Park. Marcum was a Brewer in 2011 and 2012.

Milwaukee put itself behind the eight ball with errors in Friday's opener with the Mets and has lost eight of the last 10 games.

Johnny Hellweg was rattled for seven runs -- three earned -- and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. He did not strike out a batter and walked five.

"He has a great fastball, a nice moving fastball, and a great breaking ball, but he has to command those pitches," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Unless you can command it in the big leagues, you're not going to do well."

Carlos Gomez went 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI, Juan Francisco hit a solo homer and Aramis Ramirez added an RBI in defeat. Norichika Aoki finished 3-for-5 with a run scored for the Brewers.

In other team news, injured outfielder Ryan Braun is expected to take batting practice Saturday and has been out almost a month with a hand injury. Braun took around 50 swings in the cage on Friday, according to the team's website.

"He's going to get after it here the next few days and see where we are," Roenicke told the Brewers' website. "He's kind of champing at the bit, so he's feeling that good. We'll see how close he is to being ready."

Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo has struggled in each of his last two starts and looks to put that behind him Saturday. Gallardo has yielded 11 earned runs in his previous two outings and was hammered for a season-high eight runs and nine hits in a season-low three innings Monday in a 10-5 loss at Washington.

Gallardo is now 6-8 because of the back-to-back defeats and owns a 4.78 earned run average in 18 starts. The right-hander hasn't fared too well at Miller Park this season, going 2-4 in nine chances, and is 2-3 with a 3.40 ERA in seven career starts against the Mets.

The Brewers won three of five games with the Mets in 2012.