Brewers 5, Cubs 4, 12 innings
Fielder homered twice, including a 12th-inning drive that capped a comeback from a four-run deficit and led the Brewers over the Chicago Cubs 5-4 Monday night.
Fielder’s fourth homer of the season just cleared the fence in right and came with one out off Rocky Cherry (0-1), who entered to start the inning in his major league debut. Fielder has four multihomer games, including three against the Cubs, all at Wrigley Field.
“I like playing here,” Fielder said. “I like the stadium and everything. It’s just fun here because the crowd is always on you, plus this is kind of our rival team.”
The last-place Cubs (7-12), who got another uneven outing from Carlos Zambrano, led 4-2 before Fielder homered off Scott Eyre leading off the eighth. Milwaukee tied the game when Damian Miller walked with one out, and Geoff Jenkins and Craig Counsell singled. Right fielder Jacque Jones saved at least two runs with a diving grab on pinch-hitter Kevin Mench.
Chicago dropped to 3-8 at the thus-far unfriendly confines. Manager Lou Piniella declined to meet with reporters after the game, and hitting coach Gerald Perry could be heard shouting at an umpire in the tunnel just after it ended. The coaching staff had a closed door meeting in Piniella’s office.
“Obviously if you look at the replay, the pitch is a ball,” DeRosa said. “Derrick Turnbow is nasty enough, he doesn’t need to be getting pitches like that. It was an obvious ball. When you get a call like that against you to end the game, it’s frustrating.”
Cherry said he faced Fielder before in low Class A ball.
“It was a slider, it was a little bit in, but he got to it and it went out,” Cherry said. “I know he’s a good hitter. I’ve seen him on TV in the big leagues. He did a good job.”
The Cubs got another uneven outing from Carlos Zambrano, led 4-2 before Fielder homered off Scott Eyre leading off the eighth. Milwaukee tied the game when Damian Miller walked with one out, and Geoff Jenkins and Craig Counsell singled. Right fielder Jacque Jones saved at least two runs with a diving grab on pinch-hitter Kevin Mench.
“I made us play about six extra innings and use guys that didn’t need to pitch tonight,” said Eyre, who has a 15.00 ERA. “I’m having a tough time with everybody. If I make a mistake, I get hit.”
Carlos Villanueva (1-0) pitched four scoreless innings, escaping trouble in the 11th after Felix Pie doubled with one out. Alfonso Soriano flied out and pitcher Jason Marquis, pinch hitting for the second time this season, struck out.
“That was just a phenomenal effort by Carlos Villaneuva,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said.
Turnbow pitched the 12th for his first save. Milwaukee’s bullpen allowed five hits in eight scoreless innings.
Soriano, who pinch hit in Sunday’s 12-9, 10-inning loss to St. Louis after missing five games with an injured hamstring, returned to Chicago’s starting lineup and was shifted from center field to left for the first time since last year with Washington. Soriano went 2-for-6 with two runs scored.
“Soriano is going to be a fixture in left field,” Piniella said before the game. “I think we’re going to leave him in left field. We’ll leave him in left field and let him play.”
Brewers catcher Johnny Estrada left in the seventh with a bruised left knee after colliding with the 262-pound Fielder on a Pie bunt.
Zambrano, who is trying to negotiate a longterm deal with the Cubs, gave up two runs, five hits and three walks in 5 1-3 innings, lowering his ERA from 7.77 to 6.91.
Derrek Lee’s RBI single and Aramis Ramirez’s sacrifice fly put Chicago ahead in the first, and Lee’s RBI double and Ramirez’s homer made it 4-0 in the third off Claudio Vargas, who gave up four runs and six hits in four innings.
The Cubs put RHP Wade Miller on the 15-day DL with back spasms, and recalled Cherry. Angel Guzman will likely return from Triple-A Iowa to take Miller’s No. 5 spot in the rotation. … Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks hadn’t made an error over his last 27 games, going back to last season, before booting a Jones’ grounder in the third. … Vargas was the first Brewers starter not to last at least five innings this season. … Pie switched from No. 17 to No. 20, which was his number throughout the minor leagues. … Hall struck out three times, reaching in the second inning on a passed ball.