Joey Wiemer homers, Brewers beat the Mets 2-1

NEW YORK (AP) — Buck Showalter’s solution for his struggling New York Mets seems simple enough.

“Win,” the manager said. “It’s not complicated.”

So far, not much has worked out. The Mets fell a season-worst eight games under .500 after Joey Wiemer hit a go-ahead, two-run homer to straightaway centerfield in the sixth inning that lifted the Milwaukee Brewers to a 2-1 victory on Monday night.

New York, which won 101 games and shared the NL East title last year in Showalter’s first season, is 35-43 despite entering the season with a major league record $355 million payroll. The Mets have lost seven of nine and are 6-15 since completing a three-game sweep of Philadelphia on June 1 — their most recent series win.

“It’s always about now and the heck with what happened last year or or last week or tonight,” Showalter said. “You’ve got to get it fixed.”

Francisco Lindor hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth for the Mets, who trail NL East-leading Atlanta by 16 games and are 8 1/2 games back of the third wild card. New York is eight games under .500 for the first time since ending the 2021 season at 77-85.

“I don’t think anybody saw this coming, man,” said Mets starter Justin Verlander, who threw five scoreless but laborious innings and has a 4.11 ERA in 10 starts since signing an $86.7 million, two-year deal. “Disappointing. It’s disappointing for everybody in this room, I know. It’s disappointing for the fans. Just got to keep trying.”

Colin Rea (4-4) retired his first eight batters for the Brewers and allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings. Hoby Milner (four outs), Elvis Peguero (one) and Devon Williams (three) completed a three-hitter.

Williams got his 14th save in 15 chances as Milwaukee retired the final 11 Mets in order on just 34 pitches.

“Three hits — kind of tough,” Showalter said. “We pitched pretty well, all things considered. You’d like to take advantage of that, but we didn’t.”

Mileaukee stranded eight runners against Verlander, who gave up five hits and struck out five while throwing 100 pitches.

Wiemer’s 422-foot drive off Drew Smith (3-3) hit off the black fence surrounding the Mets’ celebratory home run apple and rolled about 50 feet away from centerfielder Brandon Nimmo.

“Feels good — put a good swing on a good pitch,” said Wiemer, who has 11 homers, tied with Cincinnati’s Spencer Steer for third-most among NL rookies.

The 6 1/3-inning stint was the longest of the season for Rea, who spent most of the last two years pitching in Japan.

“They were aggressive and he made good pitches early in the count,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.

Milwaukee (41-37) began the night a half-game behind first-place Cincinnati in the NL Central. The Brewers left 11 on base, two shy of their season-high.

“Little frustrating not scoring, we left a bunch of men on base. But if you get to a bullpen after five, there’s a chance,” Counsell said. “And then, obviously, we had a big swing from Joey.”