Mets 9, Brewers 8

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MILWAUKEE – Paul Lo Duca hit a tiebreaking solo home run in the top of ninth off Derrick Turnbow to give the New York Mets a 9-8 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.

Lo Duca sent the 1-0 pitch from Turnbow (0-1) over the right-field wall, giving the right-hander his first loss since April 10, 2005.

Jose Valentin homered and drove in four runs and Carlos Beltran added a three-run shot for New York, which squandered a chance to give Jeremi Gonzalez his first win exactly a year between major league starts.

Chad Bradford pitched 2-3 of an inning to (2-1) pick up the win, and Billy Wagner got the last three outs for his eighth save in 11 opportunities.

Mets manager Willie Randolph was ejected in a wild eighth inning that began with Valentin’s two-run homer to give New York an 8-4 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Corey Koskie hit a three-run homer off reliever Duaner Sanchez and Damian Miller hit a solo shot on the next pitch to tie the score 8-all.

Sanchez plunked Brady Clark on the next pitch and was ejected. Randolph stormed out of the dugout, turned after finishing his thoughts and was tossed by home plate umpire Tim Tschida. Randolph then returned to yell some more before leaving for the clubhouse.

The second-highest attendance in Miller Park history saw Dana Eveland making his first major league start after 27 career relief appearances for the Brewers in place of ace Ben Sheets (right shoulder tendinitis).

Meanwhile, Gonzalez started his first game in exactly a year after his minor league contract was purchased earlier Saturday in the wake of injuries to Brian Bannister (right hamstring), Victor Zambrano (right elbow) and John Maine (right middle finger).

New York scored three in the sixth, two off a single with the bases loaded by Valentin after Eveland walked Chris Woodward to load the bases to set up a double play. The Mets made it 6-2 on a single by Jose Reyes.

Milwaukee chipped away in the bottom of the inning, getting an RBI single from Geoff Jenkins and an RBI double from Carlos Lee.

Gonzalez finished allowing three runs and five hits in five-plus innings. Eveland gave up six runs off seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.

Randolph had earlier argued a home run by Prince Fielder. Fielder hit his third homer in the series in the fourth, but replays appeared to show the drive hit just below the yellow line marking the wall at the right field foul pole and failing to clear the wall.

First base umpire Ted Barrett appeared to call the ball in play, but Tschida at home plate overruled him and signaled home run. The umpires conferred and Tschida’s call stood.

Notes: Valentin played for the Brewers from 1992-1999, he was starting in left field in place of Cliff Floyd. … Milwaukee traded infielder Enrique Cruz to the Texas Rangers for left-handed reliever Brian Shouse on Saturday. “He’s a real-hard thrower, 83 mph fastball, I think,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost deadpanned. Shouse will be the specialist against lefties, and Yost described the unique delivery and pitch movement as “deceptional.” … Bannister threw 83 pitches Saturday in a simulated game in Port St. Lucie, Fla., where the rookie RHP has been rehabbing. Randolph said Bannister may be called up as early as Thursday to replace Jose Lima, who has been ineffective in two starts, depending on how Bannister’s injury responds from the session. … There were 45,150 attending the game due to a bobblehead promotion. The largest crowd ever was in 2003 against the Cubs, with 46,218 in attendance.

AP-ES-05-13-06 2225EDT


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