MILWAUKEE (AP) The New York Mets dropped a game to struggling Milwaukee, and perhaps more concerning is that Neil Walker became the latest Met with a balky back.
The second baseman left in the fourth inning of the Mets' 7-4 loss to the Brewers on Saturday.
Walker has had a tough few days, missing Friday's game after taking a hard grounder to the chest on Thursday night. On Saturday, he had lower-back pain after a check swing in the first.
The Mets will be careful with Walker, especially after first baseman Lucas Duda landed on the disabled list last month with a stress fracture in his lower back - the same injury that sidelined star David Wright in 2011.
''I didn't have any concerns about Lucas Duda and the guy ended up with a broken back,'' manager Terry Collins said. ''Any time you are talking about the lower back, I think it is a concern.''
Walker is hitting .271 with 13 homers and 25 RBIs.
''It is frustrating because you are trying to help the team in any way shape or form. I'll let this thing calm down,'' Walker said. ''We have a lot of season to go, obviously.''
Curtis Granderson and Asdrubal Cabrera hit homers for the Mets. Granderson finished with three hits and is 6 for 12 with two homers in this series against the Brewers.
''We are starting to see better at-bats out of him,'' Collins said. ''He's throwing some power in, which he always has. We are going to look up at the end of the year and this guy is going to have 20 to 25 homers again.''
HOME RUN DERBY
Ryan Braun hit two home runs, while starting pitcher Wily Peralta, Chris Carter and Scooter Gennett each had another for the Brewers.
Braun ended an 0-for-15 skid with his long ball in the third inning to put Milwaukee ahead. His second solo homer followed Gennett's shot in the seventh.
Carter added his 17th of the season, and Milwaukee used the power surge to end a six-game losing streak to the Mets.
Peralta (4-7) was battling to keep his spot in the rotation and limited New York to three runs in five innings. He allowed homers to Granderson and Asdrubal Cabrera.
Mets starter Logan Verrett hit in the top of the fifth, but didn't come out to the mound for the bottom of the inning after allowing five runs off four hits and four walks.
''I wasn't commanding the zone as well as I feel I normally do or as well as I can,'' Verrett (3-4) said. ''If you go back and look at the video of all three of those home runs, they were right down the middle.''
CITI FIELD WEST?
A group of more than 900 Mets fans filled nearly four sections of the left-field bleachers as part of an organized outing of boisterous supporters. But with temperatures in the 90s and the seats in full sun the entire game, the group became sparse as New York fell behind.
''I don't think we've ever had a full left-field bleachers of the opposing team's fans,'' Braun said. ''I'm sure it's cool for them to have that support when they travel and they deserve it.''
Mets: Neither closer Jeurys Familia (rest) nor reliever Jim Henderson (fingernail) were available to pitch on Saturday. ... Catcher Travis d'Arnaud (right shoulder) was slated to catch for the first time at Class A St. Lucie on Saturday night as he continues his rehab assignment. He caught seven innings, allowed two steals and went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk and two RBIs.
Mets: Left-hander Steven Matz looks to improve on his franchise best 11-2 start to his career in Sunday's finale. He is 4-1 with a 1.67 ERA on the road this year.
Brewers: Zach Davies returns to the mound for the first time since taking a no-hitter into the seventh against Oakland. Davies hasn't lost a decision since April 29.