MILWAUKEE - During the final game of what he charitably called an "absolutely horrible" road trip, Mets manager Terry Collins thought the awful cycle would continue.
Collins already had seen Michael Cuddyer get thrown out at home, a play that stood despite his challenge. Then Darrell Ceciliani was thrown out stealing second, though a replay showed he was safe.
"We cannot keep getting snakebit," said Collins, who charged out to argue before retreating to the clubhouse after his ejection for the rest of a 2-0 win over the Brewers on Thursday.
For the first time since June 16 -- their last win -- Collins and the Mets finally could exhale.
Jacob deGrom bolstered his All-Star Game credentials, tossing eight innings to help the Mets snap what had been a season-high seven-game losing streak. "He's the guy we saw last year," Collins said. "He's legit. He is not going through any sophomore slump. He's still making the adjustments he needs to make."
Pitching for the first time since tweaking his groin last Friday in Atlanta, Jeurys Familia nailed down the save.
Wilmer Flores delivered an RBI double and Lucas Duda had an infield single with the bases loaded for all the offense deGrom needed. "I try not to be too confident when I'm out there," deGrom said. "I just try to get ahead strike one and go from there. You get too cocky and you can get put back in your place real quick."
The slumping Mets offense managed only two runs, bringing their grand total to 11 in eight games. Somehow, it was enough. "I got a couple of runs there and I was just trying to hold it at zero," said deGrom, who held the Brewers to four hits, struck out seven and walked no one.
The Mets prevailed despite making three outs on the bases, including in the fourth, when Ceciliani was called out on a steal attempt. An irate Collins, aware he had no challenges left, charged onto the field for an argument that got him ejected.
"From my angle," Collins said, "it wasn't close at all."
Nevertheless, the Mets won for the first time since embarking on what has been their most trying road trip of the season. "That was huge," Cuddyer said. "[DeGrom] answered the bell. We were able to get him a couple of runs and he was able to take care of the rest."
With the win, the Mets avoided the third winless road trip of at least eight games in team history and the first since going 0-10 on a three-city trip in 1991. "It's one win," Collins said. "But we've got to get started someplace."
The Mets returned to the .500 mark. Most importantly, they boarded their charter Thursday night as winners.
"It's definitely better to smile than it is to frown, there's no question about that," Cuddyer said. "It's going to be a nice flight. We're going to get to laugh and smile and talk and have some enthusiasm."
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