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Sunday, August 21, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Brewers 6, Mets 2

By Adam Rubin

WHAT IT MEANS: R.A. Dickey turned in his career-high sixth straight quality start, but the Mets lost to Milwaukee, 6-2, Sunday afternoon as the Brewers completed a three-game sweep.

The Mets dropped six games under .500 for the first time since May 4. They have lost 15 of 20.

Milwaukee, which joined the National League in 1996, completed its first-ever sweep of a series of three or more games in Flushing. It actually was the Brewers’ first three-plus-game series sweep in New York since the 1972 edition won three games at Yankee Stadium.

A half-inning after the Mets evened the score at 2 Sunday afternoon, Manny Acosta entered for the eighth and walked Nyjer Morgan and surrendered a single to Ryan Braun.

With runners on the corners and none out, Terry Collins summoned Tim Byrdak to face Prince Fielder.

The Mets then conceded the go-ahead run. Fielder hit a grounder to Justin Turner, and the second baseman elected to initiate a double play that would allow Morgan to score from third base. It got worse. The Mets ended up failing to record an out on the play as Turner errantly threw to Ruben Tejada manning second base.

A day after failing to record an out in the ninth and suffering the loss, Jason Isringhausen this time entered for Byrdak with two runners aboard and none out. Izzy recorded a pair of outs before surrendering an RBI single to Jerry Hairston Jr. as Milwaukee took a 4-2 lead. The Brewers tacked on two more runs in the ninth, against Isringhausen and Pedro Beato.

K-ROD TRACKER: A day after Francisco Rodriguez allowed three runs in a blown save in his return to Flushing as a visitor, he tossed a perfect eighth inning to preserve a two-run lead.

DUDE: Lucas Duda’s two-run homer in the seventh off Yovani Gallardo evened the score at 2. It was Duda’s sixth long ball this season.

Jason Bay followed by smoking a double off the top of the 16-foot wall in left field -- a shot that likely will be a homer next season, assuming the Mets lower the line delineating a homer to eight feet, which seems likely. After Josh Thole and Jason Pridie then were retired, the No. 8 hitter Tejada received an intentional walk, prompting Collins to lift Dickey for pinch-hitter Willie Harris.

Harris flied out to right field as the score remained tied, setting up the two-run eighth for Milwaukee.

Dickey’s line: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 K, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 1 HR. The knuckleballer is winless since July 25 and is 0-3 in his past five starts despite a 3.62 ERA during that stretch.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets hit the road for a three-game series at Philadelphia. Jon Niese (11-10, 4.05 ERA) draws left-hander Cliff Lee (13-7, 2.82) in Monday’s series opener. The Mets also are due to face Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick.