Kratz, Aguilar lift surging Brewers
MILWAUKEE — Erik Kratz homered in his Brewers debut and Jesus Aguilar also hit a home run to lift surging Milwaukee to a 17-6 rout of the New York Mets on Saturday.
Christian Yelich had three hits, drove in three runs and scored three times for the NL Central-leading Brewers, who have won eight of their last 10.
Kratz, acquired Friday from the Yankees, homered with two outs in the fifth against reliever A.J. Ramos, who came unraveled during what had been a close game.
Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto hit home runs early for the Mets, who tagged Brewers ace Chase Anderson for five runs but couldn’t find similar success against Milwaukee’s bullpen.
Dan Jennings (3-1) worked 11⁄3 innings for the win. Mets reliever Jacob Rhame (0-1) pitched one inning and took the loss.
New York’s first three batters of the game reached base and scored, but that was as good as it got for the Mets.
New York starter Jason Vargas, now sporting an ERA of 10.62, allowed five runs off six hits and two walks in three innings. He finished with five strikeouts.
With Milwaukee up 7-6, Ramos got the first two outs of the fifth before Kratz homered into the Brewers bullpen in left field. Ramos allowed two more runs before exiting, effectively ending any chance of a Mets comeback. Milwaukee tacked on seven more runs against Chris Flexen in the seventh for good measure.
Milwaukee’s bullpen, a bright spot all season, tightened its grip after Anderson’s shaky start. Jennings, Boone Logan, Taylor Williams and Adrian Houser combined to allow one run over the final 5 2/3 innings, lowering the bullpen’s ERA to 2.43 over 203 1⁄3 innings this season.
Anderson allowed five runs and seven hits with three walks in 3 2⁄3 innings. He struck out five.
Mets: SS Amed Rosario wasn’t in the starting lineup, but came on to pinch hit and walked in the fifth. Manager Mickey Callaway said Rosario likely would play both games of Monday’s doubleheader against Atlanta.
Brewers: LF Ryan Braun returned to the lineup after a day off.