for this game

Fielder hits game-winning shot to keep Brewers in playoff race

Sep 24, 2008 - 6:35 AM By Brad Hartmann PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- The Milwaukee Brewers will need pitching, timely hitting and some luck if they want to capture the National League wild card.

Milwaukee got two out of three on Tuesday as Prince Fielder hit a game-winning, two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning as the Brewers edged the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-5, in the opener of a crucial three-game series.

Fielder's blast put an exclamation point on a wild win for Milwaukee (86-71), which remained a game behind the New York Mets in the National League wild-card scramble. The Mets (87-70) took a step closer to the postseason with a 6-2 win over the Chicago Cubs earlier, but Milwaukee responded in dramatic fashion.

"Until tomorrow this is the biggest win of the year," Brewers center fielder Mike Cameron said. "This couldn't have happened at a better time considering what we already went through. To have a cherishable moment like that is a pretty good feeling."

After Ryan Braun extended the frame with an infield single, Fielder hit a 2-0 slider off Pirates reliever T.J. Beam (2-2) for his second career game-winning home run.

"I tried to just see the ball and not get too excited," Fielder said. "I was looking for a pitch and that was a pitch I could hit hard."

It was fifth homer in the last eight games for Fielder, who was named the NL's Player of the Week on Monday.

Not only was his shot remarkable, they were Fielder's 99th and 100th RBI of the season as he was met by Cameron at the plate in a celebration of hugs and smiles.

"I gave him a hug because the guy had a walk-off home run and achieved one his goals of the year to drive in 100," Cameron said.

Milwaukee got off to a solid start in the contest, as a pair of first-inning errors by Pittsburgh gave it two runs.

After Cameron reached base leading off the frame thanks to a miscue by left fielder Nyjer Morgan, Braun ripped a pitch from Milwaukee starter Jeff Karstens that eluded driving center fielder Nate McLouth. With the ball rolling around near the edge of the center field fence, Braun was able to record a triple before coming home when McLouth unleashed a wild throw trying to get the ball back to the infield.

Despite having a two-run cushion, Brewers starter Dave Bush struggled with his control, walking the bases loaded in the second before Morgan delivered a two-run single with two outs and Freddy Sanchez added an RBI double.

That 3-2 deficit remained through the sixth as Milwaukee was held to five hits by Karstens, who struck out six in six-plus innings.

The Brewers did break through in the seventh as the Pirates were forced to go into the bullpen after Karstens walked Craig Counsell to begin the frame. With rookie Jesse Chavez on the mound, Jason Kendall sacrificed Counsell to second before Mike Lamb delivered a pinch-hit single to put runners on the corners.

Hitless in his previous 11 at-bats, Cameron ripped a double to deep left field, scoring both runners for a 4-3 lead.

"It was a big hit," Cameron said. "That was probably one of the biggest hits I had this year."

However, it did not hold up as the Pirates quickly took back the lead in the eighth behind a two-run homer from rookie Steve Pearce off Guillermo Mota.

It was the first home run since July 9 against Mota, who was a member of the Mets' club last year that missed out on the postseason after wasting a seven-game lead with 17 games to play.

"He's aggressive," Fielder said of Mota. "Whenever you play with no worries or whatever, stuff like that is going to happen. You can't second guess yourself."

In the bottom half, Milwaukee knotted it at 5-5 as J.J. Hardy led off with a bat-shattering single to center field and Kendall followed with an RBI double to right field that eluded the reach of Pearce.

"Obviously, every at-bat means a lot to the Brewers," Pirates manager John Russell said. "They are going to be tough outs late in the game because they have a lot riding on this."

The back-and-forth affair remained tied in the top of the ninth despite the fact that the Pirates opened the frame with Morgan reaching on an infield single after Brewers closer Salomon Torres' throw pulled Fielder off the bag at first.

Although Morgan was sacrificed to second by Sanchez and McLouth was intentionally walked to set up a potential double play, Torres (7-5) was able to escape the jam unharmed by getting Ryan Doumit to fly out and Doug Mientkiewicz to groundout to third.

With five games remaining, including three against the Central-winning Cubs starting on Friday, the Brewers know that they will need to win as many as they can if they are going to capture their first postseason berth since 1982.

"Everyone knows the situation," Cameron said. "We still have a chance to play every day and each day is important and we try to look at it as one-day winning streaks. Each course of the game factors into it."






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    Pirates 5, Brewers 7  FinalSep 24 3:18 AM


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    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PITTSBURGH 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 5 9 2
    MILWAUKEE 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 2 7 11 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: PIT - JEFF KARSTENS, JESSE CHAVEZ (7TH), SEAN BURNETT (7TH), JOHN
    GRABOW (8TH), T.J. BEAM (9TH) AND RYAN DOUMIT
    MIL - DAVE BUSH, TODD COFFEY (6TH), ERIC GAGNE (7TH)

    Sep 23 11:17 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY PRINCE FIELDER (34) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 9TH OFF T.J. BEAM SCORED RYAN BRAUN.
    FINAL SCORE: MILWAUKEE 7, PITTSBURGH 5

    Pirates 5, Brewers 7  Bot 9, 0 OutsSep 23 11:17 PM


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    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JASON KENDALL SCORED J.J. HARDY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J KENDALL ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 5
    MILWAUKEE 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: G MOTA (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Pirates 5, Brewers 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 23 10:54 PM
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    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY STEVEN PEARCE (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF GUILLERMO MOTA SCORED DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 5, MILWAUKEE 4
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: AN LAROCHE (.172, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Pirates 5, Brewers 4  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 23 10:38 PM
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    Pirates 5, Brewers 4  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 23 10:38 PM


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    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIKE CAMERON SCORED CRAIG COUNSELL AND MIKE LAMB.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M CAMERON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    MILWAUKEE 4 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: R DURHAM (.288, 0-FOR-3)

    Pirates 3, Brewers 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 23 10:25 PM
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    Pirates 3, Brewers 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsSep 23 9:36 PM


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    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY FREDDY SANCHEZ SCORED JEFF KARSTENS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, F SANCHEZ ON SECOND, N MORGAN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    MILWAUKEE 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: N MCLOUTH (.281, 1-FOR-1)

    Pirates 3, Brewers 2  Top 2, 0 OutsSep 23 8:40 PM
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    Pirates 0, Brewers 2  Top 2, 0 OutsSep 23 8:39 PM


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    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY RYAN BRAUN SCORED MIKE CAMERON. ERROR BY NATE
    MCLOUTH ALLOWED RYAN BRAUN TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0
    MILWAUKEE 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: P FIELDER (.274, 33 HR, 98 RBI)

    Pirates 0, Brewers 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 23 8:21 PM
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