Rusch picks the right time to end six-game skid

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Glendon Rusch needed a victory in the worst way, and it couldn't have come at a better time.

"That felt good,'' Rusch said after he stymied his former teammates, drove in two runs and snapped a six-game losing streak as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the New York Mets 6-2 Wednesday night.

"I know they're battling to get into the wild card position, so it's a good feeling,'' Rusch said.

Rusch (6-11) won for the first time since June 25 at St. Louis. He beat Jeff D'Amico (5-10), who gave up six runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

D'Amico and Jeromy Burnitz were traded from Milwaukee to the
Mets in a three-team deal that netted the Brewers Rusch, Lenny
Harris and Alex Ochoa, who has since been traded to Anaheim.

So far, the trade has been a bust for both Milwaukee and New York, as D'Amico and Rusch have been unimpressive and Burnitz has struggled mightily at the plate.

D'Amico was banished to the bullpen recently but took a spot in
the rotation in his return to Milwaukee, where he played from
1996-2001. His ERA rose from 5.09 to 5.30 Wednesday night.

Rusch gave up six hits in six shutout innings. He stranded seven runners over the first three innings.

"We had him on the ropes,'' Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "He threw 80 pitches or so in the first three or four innings. He just kept wiggling out of jams.''

About time, said Brewers manager Jerry Royster.

"He got in trouble like he always does, but he didn't give up anything,'' Royster said. "The key to his game was changing speeds. He got out of his trouble by throwing offspeed pitches.''

Said Rusch: "Tonight was a case of making a few good pitches
and getting out of trouble.''

Valerio De Los Santos, Luis Vizcaino and Mike DeJean finished up for the Brewers.

The Brewers, who got an RBI double from Richie Sexson in the
first inning, made it 3-0 in the fifth when Rusch drove in a run
with a bases-loaded fielder's choice and Alex Sanchez added a sacrifice fly.

Sanchez missed a suicide squeeze call on the play, much to the
surprise of Jose Hernandez, who had to sprint back to the bag to
tag up.

"He would have been a lot more surprised if Alex had swung and missed and he'd have been standing there face-to-face with Mike Piazza,'' Royster said.

With one out in the sixth, Jeffrey Hammonds singled and scored
on Matt Stairs' double for a 4-0 lead.

After Jose Hernandez drew a walk, Jamie Cerda replaced D'Amico
and gave up a bad-hop RBI single to Paul Bako and a bloop single to Rusch that scored another run.

Center fielder Timo Perez could easily have thrown out Bako at second base on Rusch's single but came up looking to throw home before realizing he had a shot at nailing Bako.

"I know as well as anybody I've had some tough times,'' D'Amico said. "Today, I went out there, felt great, thought I had some good stuff, thought I made some pretty good pitches.

"You turn around and they had five, six runs on the board. It's kind of like, 'What the heck happened?'''

In the first, Eric Young scored on Sexson's double when second
baseman Ty Wigginton double-clutched the relay and then threw the
ball past Piazza.

Burnitz went 1-for-4 for the second straight night at Miller

The Mets thought Burnitz might be the missing ingredient for a postseason run. Instead, they're 56-57 and their playoff hopes are fading fast.

"Coming into this year, I didn't think we'd be at this point this late in the year,'' D'Amico said.

Neither did the Brewers (40-73), who won their 40th game last year on July 3.

Game notes
Sexson's double was his fifth hit in six career at-bats against D'Amico. ... Mets SS Rey Ordonez stayed down for a couple minutes after smashing his face into the dirt on a headfirst slide in the second inning. ... Brewers RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder) gave up two unearned runs on four hits in four innings of his second rehab start at Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday night at Norfolk. ... Rusch is one hit shy of Jamey Wright's franchise
record for most hits (13) by a pitcher in a season. ... Rusch is
the first Brewers pitcher to drive in a run since July 2 at