Fielder's big night lifts Milwaukee to victoryWisconsin Sports
-- Prince Fielder hit three homers last night, as he powered the Milwaukee Brewers to a 6-to-4 home victory over Pittsburgh.
MILWAUKEE - Prince Fielder hit three homers last night, as he powered the Milwaukee Brewers to a 6-4 home victory over Pittsburgh.
The Brewers still have a one-game lead over Arizona for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Diamondbacks kept pace with a 7-6 come-from-behind win over the LA Dodgers in 10 innings. Also, the National League Wild Card race is now tied between Saint Louis and Atlanta – and whoever gets the Wild Card will determine who the Brewers open against in the playoffs which begin on Saturday.
Last night’s Brewer contest was a see-saw affair until the seventh-inning, when Fielder broke a 4-4 tie with a two-run blast which decided the game. Fielder also hit another two-run homer and a solo shot. He now has 38 homers, tied with Matt Kemp of the Dodgers for the National League lead. Fielder also became the third Brewer to hit three homers in a game this year. Casey McGehee and Corey Hart were the others. And Milwaukee is the only the seventh team in Major League history to have at least three players with three-homer-games in the same season. Ryan Braun went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks to raise his average to .335 – still a point behind Jose Reyes of the Mets for the NL batting crown. LaTroy Hawkins got the win in relief. He’s 3-1. John Axford extended a team record with his 46th save. Jared Hughes took the loss. He’s 0-1.
Milwaukee is now 11-3 against Pittsburgh this year, and they’re 56-24 at home. Right-hander Zack Greinke will start the Brewers’ regular season finale tonight. Left-hander Jeff Locke will go for the Pirates.
Yovani Gallardo will start Game-One for the Brewers, when their National League Division Series begins on Saturday. Manager Ron Roenicke made the announcement last night – although it was a foregone conclusion on Monday when Gallardo was pulled from his normal spot in the rotation tonight. The right-hander calls it an honor and privilege to start in the playoff opener – and he appreciates the confidence the coaches have in him. The 25-year-old Gallardo has been solid in his last three starts, giving up just four earned runs in 20-and-a-third innings with 36 strikeouts. He had a no-decision last Friday night, but he struck out 11 in Milwaukee’s win over Florida that clinched the National League Central crown. Either Shaun Marcum or Zack Greinke will go in Game-Two on Sunday.
The Brewers may not know until tomorrow who they’ll open against in the first round. It could be at home against Atlanta, at home or on the road against Arizona, or at Philadelphia. It all depends on how tonight’s final night of the regular season shakes out throughout the league. And if Atlanta and Saint Louis end up tied for the National League Wild Card, they’ll have a one-game playoff tomorrow at Busch Stadium.