MILWAUKEE — No one could find Erik Kratz shortly after the Milwaukee Brewers routed the New York Mets. Such is the life of a journeyman catcher.
Kratz finally turned up in the batting cages in the service level of Miller Park. His three kids were exploring their dad's new digs. During the 17-6 victory, it was Kratz who sure looked as though he was having all the fun.
The 37-year-old Kratz homered in his Milwaukee debut and Jesus Aguilar also hit a home run as the NL Central-leading Brewers won for the eighth time in their last 10 games.
"It was great," said Kratz, who was acquired Friday from the Yankees for a player to be named or cash. "You're just looking to barrel the ball up, you're not going to change anything."
Kratz, playing for his seventh big league team, homered with two outs in the fifth against reliever A.J. Ramos, who came unraveled during what had been a close game.
With Milwaukee up 7-6, Ramos got the first two outs of the fifth before Kratz homered into the Brewers bullpen in left field. Ramos allowed two more runs before exiting, effectively ending any chance of a Mets comeback. Milwaukee tacked on seven more runs against Chris Flexen in the seventh for good measure.
"The home run was in a big spot," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "It was two outs, nobody on, nothing going on and we went from zero to a three-spot there pretty fast."
RECORD SETTING DAY
Lorenzo Cain was on base five times and Christian Yelich had three hits, drove in three runs and scored three times as Milwaukee got contributions everywhere. It was the first time in franchise history the Brewers had nine players both score a run and drive a run in a single game.
Reliever Dan Jennings (3-1) was among the unexpected contributors. He worked 1 1/3 innings for the win, but came up to bat, singled and later scored in the fifth after Kratz's home run.
"LoCain was mad at me because I took his bat up to the plate," Jennings said. "I didn't even know whose bat to use."
It was a Milwaukee's biggest offensive outburst since an 18-1 victory over the Cubs on Aug. 2, 2010, and tied a franchise record for the most runs at Miller Park against Pittsburgh on April 26, 2010.
Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto hit home runs early for the Mets, who tagged Brewers ace Chase Anderson for five runs but couldn't find similar success against Milwaukee's bullpen.
Mets reliever Jacob Rhame (0-1) pitched one inning and took the loss.
New York's first three batters of the game reached base and scored, but that was as good as it got for the Mets.
New York starter Jason Vargas, now sporting an ERA of 10.62, allowed five runs off six hits and two walks in three innings. He finished with five strikeouts.
"Everybody has bad games," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "We had several that had bad games on the same time tonight, so it kind of skewed the score big-time and you have to chalk it up to that."
Mets: SS Amed Rosario wasn't in the starting lineup, but came on to pinch hit and walked in the fifth. ... 2B Asdrubal Cabrera (knee) came up limping in the seventh after a throw to second and was pulled for a pinch hitter in the eighth.
Brewers: LF Ryan Braun returned to the lineup after a day off.
Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-4, 5.93 ERA) gave up one earned run and struck out nine his last time out on Tuesday.
Brewers: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (3-1, 3.32) allowed one run in four innings against the Mets on April 15. He did not factor in the decision in New York's 3-2 win that day.