Ishikawa's two homers lead Crew's barrage

Ishikawa's two homers lead Crew's barrage

Ishikawa's two homers lead Crew's barrage
NEW YORK -- On a dreary Tuesday afternoon, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke lamented the threat of rain and his unstable offense. In its previous seven games, Milwaukee had scored one, eight, one, eight, eight, two and one runs. The eight-run games were all wins. The others were losses.

"Then we need to score eight runs every time," first baseman Travis Ishikawa said a few hours later. "Because one run is no fun."

They had fun Tuesday night, when the rain held off and the Brewers went off. Ishikawa delivered two home runs and a career-best five RBIs, and Rickie Weeks hit a slump-busting home for an 8-0 win over the Mets at Citi Field.

The homer barrage backed Brewers starter Zack Greinke (4-1), who followed a scoreless eight-inning outing against the Reds last week with seven scoreless innings against the Mets. Greinke has no walks and 18 strikeouts in those games. He hasn't walked a batter in his past 18 full innings.

Against the Mets, Greinke struck out seven and got some help from catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who threw out David Wright trying to steal second base in the fourth inning. That play came on the back end of one of Greinke's three double plays.

It was the sort of complete win that gave the Brewers hope about making a run in the National League Central. They are 16-20, the same record they owned through 36 games of what became a franchise-best 2011 regular season.

"I feel like we've been playing pretty good defense. It's more our offense and starting pitching that has given them trouble," Greinke said. "Our pitching was bad the whole first month, but we've been getting a little bit better. Hopefully, the offense is turning it around now.

"I mean, [the hitters] will eventually. We're too good of an offensive team. There's a lot of teams that we have better offense than, and it just hasn't happened so far."

Lucroy contributed to the Brewers' offense with an RBI and two runs scored, but Ishikawa did most of the work. He drove in the first of two Brewers runs in the second inning with a groundout, hit a long solo home run on the first pitch of the fifth inning and added a three-run home run to cap a four-run Brewers sixth.

Ishikawa's big night gave Brewers first basemen five home runs and 19 RBIs this season. In Detroit, Prince Fielder has five home runs and 18 RBIs.

Fielder's replacement was supposed to be Mat Gamel, but he was lost May 1 to a season-ending right knee injury. Ishikawa and callup Taylor Green have been sharing starts at first base since then, and Roenicke is hoping somebody makes a statement about his viability for the everyday job.

"I've been trying to make that statement ever since Gamel went down," Ishikawa said. "We're all professionals, and it's our job, wherever we're asked to go and play or hit, to be ready to go in those situations. I've been kind of dealing with that my whole career."

He is doing a good job. In his 10 starts this season, Ishikawa is batting .364 (12-for-33) with four home runs and 11 RBIs.

Both of Ishikawa's blasts came against Mets starter Dillon Gee (2-3), who surrendered seven earned runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"Personally, I thought I made a lot of good pitches tonight," said Gee. "Some things didn't go my way. I don't know what to say. Obviously, [Ishikawa's] first home run was a mistake. The second one, I just don't know. That was a good pitch, a first pitch, a pretty good curveball. He hit it like I told him it was coming."

Gee was out of the game when Weeks homered in the seventh inning, a line drive to the left-field seats that snapped an 0-for-21 funk. Weeks finished 1-for-5 with three strikeouts in his first start since he was struck by a pitch on the left hand Friday night.

Weeks' homer produced some drama. Mets reliever D.J. Carrasco's next pitch struck Ryan Braun, and Carrasco was immediately ejected.

The Mets' No. 3 hitter, Wright, was due to lead off the bottom of the inning, but he was replaced by a pinch-hitter. Wright had a spirited discussion with Mets manager Terry Collins in the dugout after that decision. Two batters later, Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy was also pulled from the game, too.

Braun declined comment, saying, "I've got nothing for you guys."

Had Wright remained in the game and Greinke retaliated, the Brewers starter would almost certainly have been ejected. Greinke said he was not surprised to see Wright pulled from the game.

"I mean, it made sense," Greinke said. "I don't know what would have happened if he stayed in, but they don't want anyone important to get hurt just like we don't want someone important to get hurt. That's kind of the main thing."

Roenicke was not happy.

"I didn't like it," he said. "I don't understand it."

He called Collins' decision to remove Wright and Murphy "interesting."

The Brewers and Mets won't see each other again until Sept. 14-16 at Miller Park.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.