A lot of casual baseball fans might not know Scott Podsednik, but the NL Rookie of the Year voters should.
Podsednik hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning Saturday to give the Brewers a 6-4 victory. The 27-year-old center fielder finished the game 4-for-5 with a stolen base, four RBIs and two runs scored. He has eight hits in his last 12 at-bats.
Playing for one of the worst teams in baseball will hurt Podsednik’s chances in Rookie of the Year balloting, but he certainly deserves some recognition. He leads all rookies with a .305 batting average, .370 on-base percentage and 25 stolen bases.
“I try not to think about it,” Podsednik said. “You can’t get caught up in individual awards.”
His homer in the ninth rendered Reggie Sanders’ solo shot in the seventh, which had given Pittsburgh a 4-3 lead, meaningless.
Sanders leads the Pirates with 26 home runs, including five in his last seven games. He’s totaled 10 homers and 23 RBIs while batting .346 (28-for-81) in his last 21 games.
The Pirates have lost four of six.
The Brewers snapped a three-game skid Saturday, winning for just the fourth time in 14 games.
STANDINGS: Brewers - 6th place, 16 1/2 GB, NL Central. Pirates - 4th place, 8 GB, NL Central.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Wayne Franklin (8-9, 5.42 ERA). The left-hander had lost three consecutive starts before winning in Philadelphia on Tuesday, yielding three runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-3 victory. Franklin had a 7.99 ERA over his previous six outings. He faced the Pirates twice last month and won both times, allowing five runs in 5 1-3 innings in the more recent outing after tossing six innings of one-run ball in the first.
PIRATES PROBABLE STARTER: Josh Fogg (6-7, 5.65 ERA). The third-year right-hander is coming off what he called the worst start of his career. He did not retire any of the six batters he faced, giving up five runs and six hits in Tuesday’s 10-6 loss to St. Louis. That performance came six days after he threw six terrific innings in a 2-0 win over San Francisco. Fogg, however, is 1-4 with a 9.70 ERA in his last six starts. He’s 0-1 in two starts against Milwaukee this season, giving up three runs over six innings in each game.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Brewers - Podsednik, .305 avg. and 25 SBs; Richie Sexson, 33 HRs, 89 RBIs and 74 runs. Pirates - Jason Kendall, .310 avg. and 69 runs; Sanders, 26 HRs and 9 SBs; Brian Giles, 67 RBIs.
SEASON SERIES: Brewers, 7-6.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Brewers - RHP Luis Vizcaino, who got the win Saturday, has allowed just two hits in throwing 10 2-3 consecutive innings of scoreless relief. … OF John Vander Wal has struck out 10 times in his last four starts. … Milwaukee has not held the opposition to fewer than three runs in 15 consecutive games. Pirates - LF Giles is 5-for-11 (.455) lifetime against LHP Franklin. … C Kendall has four multihit games in his last seven contests. … RHP Mike Lincoln has blown three of his five save opportunities in the past three weeks.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Brewers - 27-35 on the road; Pirates - 27-36 at home.
INJURIES: Brewers - INF Wes Helms (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Jayson Durocher (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Matt Ford (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Ruben Quevedo (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Glendon Rusch (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Ritchie (shoulder), 60-day DL. Pirates - RHP Salomon Torres (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Kris Benson (shoulder), 60-day DL; LHP Dave Williams (shoulder), 60-day DL; INF Pat Meares (hand), 60-day DL; INF Pokey Reese (thumb), 60-day DL.