MILWAUKEE — Pinch-hitter Mike Brosseau greeted Drew Smith with a grand slam in the pitcher’s return from two months on the injured list, and the New York Mets squandered a chance to boost their NL East lead with a 6-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.
Willy Adames hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth against Taijuan Walker, his fifth homer in 10 games and 31st this season, and the Brewers (79-70) closed within two games of Philadelphia (80-67) for the third and final wild-card berth. The Phillies played later Wednesday.
“We know we have to put the gas pedal down, for sure,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We did that this homestand and we’ll continue to.”
The Mets (95-56), already assured of at least a wild card, maintained a one-game NL East lead over Atlanta (93-56), whose five-game winning streak ended with a 3-2 loss at Washington. New York had won six in a row.
Mark Canha was hit by pitches twice and Luis Guillorme once. Guillorme was struck on the right foot by a Jake Cousins slider in the ninth, the big league record 106th hiit batter of the season for New York. That topped the 105 by last year's Cincinnati Reds, and Mets manager Buck Showalter signaled for the ball.
“It would be obscene to tell you what I’m going to do with it,” Showalter joked while adding that he hopes Cahana, who's been hit a franchise-record 24 times this season, doesn't surpass his career-high of 27, set last season with Oakland.
Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo hurt his left quadriceps while stealing second base and left after the first inning. Left fielder Jeff McNeil banged up his right wrist against the chain-link fence in a failed attempt to catch Brosseau's drive.
Showalter said he expects both players to be fine but Nimmo will undergo testing Thursday.
“We’ll get some imaging tomorrow just to see what we’re dealing with,” Showalter said. “You’re always concerned but I’m hoping that his caution there is something that will reap some benefits.”
Walker (12-5) allowed only four runners before Adames homered leading off the sixth. Adames is hitting .323 (40 for 24) with eight homers and 28 RBIs in his last 31 games.
Tyrone Taylor's RBI single, Milwaukee's third straight hit, chased Walker in the seventh.
“He pitched really well,” Showalter said. “We just didn't score any runs today.”
David Peterson loaded the bases with a two-out intentional walk to Adames, Brosseau was announced to hit for Rowdy Tellez and Smith relieved in his first big league appearance since July 24 after recovering from a lat strain.
Smith got ahead 0-2, and Brosseau homered on a hanging slider. He is 9 for 15 with three homers as a pinch hitter this season.
“My playing time’s been a little sporadic lately … so it’s a great feeling to produce when my number is called upon,” Brosseau said.
Adrian Houser allowed three hits in 4 2/3 scoreless innings and Hoby Milner, Trevor Gott (3-2), Brad Boxberger, Brent Suter and Cousins combined for one-hit relief in the Brewers' ninth shutout this season.
“Being able to go out there and not let them get any runs on the board and let the boys work at the plate today and put up some runs was a big thing,” Houser said. “Hopefully it builds some confidence with the guys and gets us on a roll in the four games in Cincinnati.”
New York finished 23-10 against the NL Central
Brewers: Gott was activated from the 15-day IL after missing more than a month with a strained right forearm.
Mets: RHP Chris Bassitt (14-8, 3.22 ERA) starts Friday's series opener at Oakland.
Brewers: RHP Corbin Burnes (10-8, 3.12 ERA) is on the mound Thursday as the Brewers start their final trip, and RHP Graham Ashcraft (5-3, 3.97) starts for Cincinnati.