BREWERS SHORT HOPS
Matt Garza is due to make a final rehab start on Thursday, which should place pressure on Peralta, the Brewers' Opening Day starter, to perform on Saturday against the Mets. Peralta has a minor-league option remaining and could be bumped from the rotation over Davies, a rookie who is 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA in his last three starts. Garza has been sidelined since spring training with a strained lat muscle. Reliever Corey Knebel also is due to be activated from a season-opening stint on the disabled list.
Ex-Met Kirk Nieuwenhuis had been 3 for his last 43 before producing a two-hit game on Wednesday against the Oakland Athletics. Nieuwenhuis began the season on the bench but moved into a regular role after Keon Broxton opened the season 0-for-16 and was demoted to Triple-A Colorado Springs. The Brewers claimed Nieuwenhuis off waivers on Dec. 23, when the Mets needed to free a 40-man roster spot for the signing of Alejandro De Aza.
Jonathan Lucroy lost a 10-game hitting streak on Wednesday with an 0-for-4 night. He hit .500 (18-for-36) with three homers and 11 RBIs during that stretch. Lucroy could be an attractive trade chip, especially since he is not eligible for free agency until after the 2017 season. The Brewers hold a modest $5.25-million option on Lucroy for next season from an extension signed back in March 2012.
Tyler Thornburg has retired 26 straight batters, which is a franchise record for a reliever. The previous record belonged to Dan Plesac (1987) and Derrick Turnbow (2005) at 22 apiece. Including starting pitchers, Thornburg’s streak matches the third-longest in Brewers history. Jaime Navarro retired 28 straight batters in 1992, followed by Jim Slaton with 27 straight in 1976 and Teddy Higuera, who also had 26 straight in 1988.
Ryan Braun's .328 average ranks second in the National League, trailing only ex-Met Daniel Murphy's .376. Braun produced his 1,500th career hit on Tuesday. He became the fifth player in franchise history to reach that threshold, joining Robin Yount (3,142), Paul Molitor (2,281), Cecil Cooper (1,815) and Jim Gantner (1,696). Braun’s 264 homers are the most in Brewers history. Braun returned to left field this season after spending two years in right field. He underwent lower-back surgery on Oct. 8. The procedure was performed by Dr. Robert Watkins, who also has treated David Wright.
Ex-Met Carlos Torres has a 2.31 ERA over his last 10 appearances (3 ER in 11 2/3 IP). He earned consecutive saves at Atlanta on May 25-26.
Jonathan Villar has an MLB-best 22 steals.
METS SHORT HOPS
Kelly Johnson is due to join the Mets on Friday after being acquired for minor-league right-hander Akeel Morris. Johnson became the second player in major league history to be acquired in consecutive seasons by one team from the same club. He joined Chad Kreuter, who was traded from the White Sox to the Angels in 1997 and again in 1998. Johnson should see some action at third base complementing Wilmer Flores, plus pinch hit and fill in at first base and second base.
Juan Lagares remains active but has been sidelined since suffering a partial tear of a ligament in his left thumb while making a run-saving catch on Saturday in Miami. With inflammation subsiding, Lagares will try to swing a bat this weekend in a bid to avoid a trip to the disabled list and potential surgery.
Yoenis Cespedes entered Wednesday in a 3-for-35 slump but produced three hits in the series finale against the Pirates.
Verrett gets a spot start on Saturday because the Mets had a rainout on Monday in Pittsburgh and instead played a doubleheader on Tuesday. Verrett allowed seven runs in 2 2/3 innings on May 14 at Colorado while filling in for Matz. Filling in for Jacob deGrom in April, Verrett tossed a combined 12 scoreless innings in consecutive starts against the Marlins and Phillies.
Manager Terry Collins has resolved to begin playing fifth outfielder De Aza more frequently, in part to rest his slumping first-string players. De Aza started for Curtis Granderson on Wednesday in Pittsburgh. He is due start in place of Michael Conforto in Thursday’s series opener, according to Collins. Cespedes also is expected to sit once this weekend.