By John Schweibacher
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After getting back to .500 last week, the New York Mets have lost five consecutive games (one shy of their season-worst six-game skid) as their late-inning struggles continue.
The Mets dropped the opener of their three-game series in Arizona, 7-3, Monday night.
The Mets led 1-0 early, but the Diamondbacks tied the game with a run in the bottom of the sixth and scored six more times in the eighth.
The Mets have now lost each of the last three games they led in the sixth inning or later, including last Wednesday vs. the Giants and Sunday at Milwaukee. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, since 2012, the only other time the Mets lost at least three straight games of this type was in June 2014 (one in Chicago and two more in San Francisco).
On Sunday against the Brewers, four relievers combined to allow seven runs in the seventh and eighth innings, as the Mets blew a 7-1 lead and lost 11-9, as the Brewers completed the sweep at Miller Park.
The last time the Mets lost a game in which they led by as many as six runs was on July 30, 2015, an 8-7 loss to the Padres at Citi Field. The Mets led that game, 7-1, after six innings, but lost the lead on Justin Upton’s two-out, three-run homer off Jeurys Familia just before a ninth-inning rain delay.
Michael Conforto, batting in the third spot in the lineup for the first time since June 1, 2016, went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, hitting a solo home run in the first inning, a two-run double in the fifth and a leadoff triple in the seventh.
It was the ninth time in club history a Mets hitter was a single away from completing the cycle:
• 5/14/17: Michael Conforto at Mil
• 6/23/13: David Wright at Phi
• 8/9/12: Andres Torres vs. SF
• 7/22/89: Gregg Jefferies vs. Atl
• 9/9/88: Gregg Jefferies at Mtl
• 8/29/88: Gregg Jefferies vs. SD
• 8/16/87: Darryl Strawberry at Chi
• 6/6/67: Ron Swoboda at Pit
• 8/18/64: Joe Christopher vs. Pit
On Saturday night, the Brewers made it two straight wins over the Mets with an 11-4 victory. Travis Shaw hit a three-run home run in an eight-run fifth inning that, according to Elias, was the highest-scoring inning that Milwaukee has posted in any of its now 130 games all-time against the Mets.
Elias says the Brewers previously had only one seven-run inning ever against New York, on April 26, 2001, in the final game of the Mets’ first series at Miller Park.
Brett Hinchcliffe, in his only career start and appearance for the Mets that day, allowed six of those seven runs in the third inning, and reliever Tom Martin gave up the seventh in the 12-8 loss.
Jose Reyes and T.J. Rivera made their outfield debuts in the Saturday loss. Reyes, who played one inning in center field, is now the 13th player in club history to have appeared in at least one game for the club at shortstop, second base, third base and center field:
• Rod Kanehl
• Tim Foli
• Ted Martinez
• Lenny Randle
• Joel Youngblood
• Bob Bailor
• Keith Miller
• Lenny Harris
• Melvin Mora
• Joe McEwing
• Kurt Abbott
• Chris Woodward
• Jose Reyes
On Friday night, the Brewers hit four home runs in their 7-4 victory over the Mets. Three of the homers came against Matt Harvey, in his first game back from his three-day, team-imposed suspension.
The three home runs allowed by Harvey matched the most given up in a single game in his career:
• 5/12/17: at Mil (7-4 loss) — Herman Perez, Eric Sogard and Orlando Arcia
• 5/24/16: at Was (7-4 loss) — Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy
• 6/10/15: vs. SF (8-5 loss) — Joe Panik, Brandon Belt and Justin Maxwell
In 2013, Harvey allowed just seven home runs in 26 starts prior to having his season end after suffering a partial UCL tear.
On Wednesday, the Giants came from behind in the ninth inning against Jeurys Familia to defeat the Mets, 6-5, in the closer’s final appearance before having surgery to remove a blood clot in his pitching shoulder.
Tommy Milone was in line for the win in his Mets debut, having allowed two runs in six innings. Milone, who had previously pitched for the Nationals, A’s and Twins, was the first pitcher to make his Mets debut as a starter against the Giants since Brian Bohanon, who went seven innings for the win at Candlestick Park on April 6, 1997.
Happy Recap: Catching On. Rene Rivera is now hitting .417 (15-for-36) with nine RBIs during a career-high, nine-game hitting streak. Mets catchers have now driven in 30 runs, the highest total in MLB (d’Arnaud 16, Rivera 11 and Plawecki 3).
Nine Miles of Rough Road: Four Shame. The Mets have allowed at least four runs in an inning in each of their last five games, tying the longest such streak in franchise history in August 1984 (four against the Cubs at Wrigley Field and one vs. the Pirates at Shea Stadium).