By GENARO C. ARMAS, AP Sports Writer
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Matt Harvey allowed a season-high three homers. He tied a season high by giving up five walks. He said he fell behind too many hitters.
It was not an ideal return for Harvey from a three-game suspension in the New York Mets’ 7-4 loss on Friday night to the Milwaukee Brewers.
But after a drama-filled week, the Mets can take a little solace from a few positives in Harvey’s otherwise choppy night.
Eric Sogard and Orlando Arcia hit back-to-back homers to chase Harvey from the mound in the sixth after the right-hander had sailed through the fifth for his only 1-2-3 inning of the night.
“I hope he takes that and that the stuff is still good enough and start to apply it to his next start,” manager Terry Collins said.
Harvey (2-3) allowed seven hits and five runs in his first outing in 10 days. He worked out of a jam in the second after walking the bases loaded by striking out .331 hitter Eric Thames.
“I’m sure he’s upset about the sixth inning. He limited the damage. He was in big trouble two innings in a row and really got us out of it,” Collins said.
At least Harvey was back on the mound, focused on getting better after a tough week. He has apologized for skipping a game last weekend following a late night on the town.
When asked, Harvey said he felt no residual effects mentally from the stress of the past few days.
“No I mean I felt physically great going into this game, mentally great going in and wanted to go out there, do everything I could to put zeros up on the board,” he said. “I just wasn’t able to do that.”
Sogard, whose contract was selected earlier Friday from the minors, hit a two-run shot into the second deck in right to break a 2-2 tie. Arcia’s pinch-hit solo homer chased Harvey from the mound three batters into sixth with nobody out.
Sogard, who was hitting .330 at Triple-Colorado Springs, also walked twice. He had a .239 career average with eight homers in previous stints with the Oakland Athletics between 2010-15.
“Harvey was having trouble throwing strikes for whatever reason, (Sogard) got himself in good counts all night,” manager Craig Counsell said. “He sat on the pitch, and put a good swing on it.”
New York’s Neil Walker went 3 for 3, including a solo homer off Matt Garza (2-0). The Brewers starter was otherwise solid, giving up five hits, two runs and two walks while striking out four over six innings.
“Mixing and matching. Just got to keep them off balance and keep attacking,” Garza said.
The Mets scored twice in the ninth before Jared Hughes got the last two outs of the game for his first save.
Harvey’s return was overshadowed in part by yet another twist in the Mets’ season.
The team announced that All-Star closer Jeurys Familia would be out several months because of a blood clot near his right armpit. Familia had surgery earlier Friday, and general manager Sandy Alderson said he was unsure if Familia would return this season.
Neftali Feliz is out as the Brewers’ closer. He was 8 of 9 in save opportunities but 0-4 with a 6.19 ERA in 18 appearances. General manager David Stearns said Feliz in part was getting in trouble after falling behind the count and becoming a “little more predictable pitcher at that point.” Manager Craig Counsell said both Feliz and setup man Corey Knebel, who has a 1.00 ERA, were not available on Friday, so he mixed and matched out of the bullpen.
Mets: The team did get a key piece back with 1B Lucas Duda returning from a stint on the 10-day disabled list with a hyperextended left elbow. Duda hit seventh and went 1 for 4, bouncing into an inning-ending double in his first at-bat in the second.
Brewers: Sogard took the roster spot of Braun, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list before the game with a strained left calf, retroactive to Thursday. Stearns said he expected a short stay for Braun on the DL.
Mets RHP Robert Gsellman (2-2) will make his first career start against an opponent outside the National League East when he faces the Brewers. He’ll be opposed by RHP Zach Davies (3-2), who is 3-0 with a 3.43 ERA over his last four starts after going 0-2 with an 8.79 ERA over his first three starts.
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