NEW YORK >> Taylor Teagarden had no idea how much of a relief his grand slam was to the scuffling New York Mets until his teammates were congratulating him for the rare hit with the bases loaded.
Teagarden homered in his Mets debut, Daniel Murphy had a two-run shot and New York beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-2 Tuesday night to snap a six-game skid.
"If I could help get the monkey off the back, whatever it takes," Teagarden said.
Called up from Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday to replace demoted catcher Travis d’Arnaud, Teagarden connected for his second career slam after Marco Estrada walked the bases loaded in the sixth inning.
The 30-year-old Teagarden had struck out in his first two at-bats. He said his teammates let him know just how poorly they’ve done with the bases loaded after he returned to the dugout.
Playing in front of a season-low Citi Field crowd of 20,206 that booed Ryan Braun in each of his four plate appearances, the Mets improved to 11-for-64 (.172) with the sacks full.
"He didn’t know you weren’t supposed to get a hit," manager Terry Collins said with a big grin.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-0) pitched six effective innings and Murphy homered off Estrada in the third. Before the game, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Collins’ job is secure after the team returned from a 4-7 road trip a season-worst seven games under .500.
Outhit 6-5, the Mets scored their most runs in 16 home games since a 7-6 loss in 10 innings to Miami on April 26.
Matsuzaka was hit high on the outside of his right thigh by a line drive in the sixth. Making his third start of the year, the right-hander recovered to throw out Carlos Gomez and finished the inning.
Collins said the plan was to send Matsuzaka out for the start of the seventh because he was at 100 pitches.
"Pitch-count wise I think I would’ve been able to go into the next inning fine," Matsuzaka said through a translator. "Right now it’s not too bad, but it should start swelling I think by tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens."
Estrada (5-3) has given up a major league-worst 20 homers this season, and both long balls Tuesday followed walks.
"I threw a lot of close pitches. Guys just laid off of them," Estrada said. "I don’t understand why I’m walking so many guys right now. I’ve got to figure this out now because it’s getting out of hand."
Murphy connected after Ruben Tejada walked with two outs in the third, the ball just clearing the right-field wall for a 2-0 lead.
The Brewers cut the lead in half in the fourth after Khris Davis was hit by a pitch from Matsuzaka. Davis scored from first when Lyle Overbay hit a sharp grounder inside first base for a run-scoring double.
Matsuzaka, however, kept the NL Central leaders in check. He allowed three hits, three walks and struck out five.
Howie Rumberg, Associated Press