Brewers 9, Dodgers 5
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Prince Fielder’s first two homers at Dodger Stadium definitely weren’t cheap ones.
Fielder homered in his first career at-bats against Brett Tomko and Takashi Saito, driving both balls a combined 900 feet and powering the Milwaukee Brewers to a 9-5 victory over Los Angeles on Monday night.
Fielder’s two drives gave him 14 for the season, tying him with teammate J.J. Hardy for the NL lead.
“When I start looking at things like that, I’ll come off the ball and swing too hard and my body will get in the way,” Fielder said after his third multihomer game of the season and sixth of his career. “You can’t try for home runs because you usually strike out. The ball doesn’t carry too good here, so I just tried to stay aggressive with my hands, hit the ball hard up the middle and see what happens.”
Rickie Weeks had a career-high four hits in his return to Milwaukee’s lineup, Johnny Estrada added a solo homer and Tony Gwynn Jr. capped a five-run sixth inning with a two-run double, helping the Brewers increase their NL Central lead to 6 1/2 games over Houston.
Weeks, who missed the previous four games because of a sore right wrist, hit safely his first four times up—including an RBI double in the third.
“It just felt good,” said Weeks, who finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs. “After those four days off, I really wanted to get back to the game and help the team any way possible. I can’t stand to be away from the game for a long period of time, and all the frustration just built up.”
Jeff Suppan (6-4) allowed four runs and six hits in six-plus innings, striking out two and walking three. The right-hander, who beat the Dodgers in the clinching game of the 2004 NLDS for St. Louis, took a one-hitter and an 8-0 lead into the sixth before giving up Nomar Garciaparra’s RBI single and Jeff Kent’s two-run homer.
“They’re able to beat you in so many different ways, so I was basically just trying to make pitches. That’s all my goal was,” Suppan said.
Brett Tomko (1-5) allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings, after giving up eight runs in 2 1-3 innings in an 8-4 loss to the Cardinals last Monday at Dodger Stadium. The right-hander came in 7-1 in 13 career appearances against Milwaukee, including 11 starts, and was 5-0 with a 3.09 ERA in his previous five starts against the Brewers.
Rafael Furcal’s one-out infield single in the first was the Dodgers’ only hit until Furcal doubled with one out in the sixth. He scored on Garciaparra’s single off the glove of third baseman Craig Counsell. Kent followed with his seventh homer.
Fielder led off the second inning with a gargantuan drive that landed an estimated 462 feet from home plate and about 10 rows from the top of the pavilion. His ninth-inning shot off Saito was estimated at 438 feet and was more toward center field.
“He’s a strong young hitter, which he showed tonight,” Tomko said. “You can see why they are where they are in the standings. They have a bunch of guys who battle you every at-bat, and they have a lot of guys who can hit home runs.”
The switch-hitting Estrada, whose six homers have come with the bases empty, made it 3-0 in the fourth with a drive to right-center.
Tomko departed after giving up a one-out bloop single to Estrada and a walk to Geoff Jenkins. Bill Hall greeted Chad Billingsley with a single that loaded the bases, and Counsell drove in Estrada with a single that ended a personal drought of 19 games without an RBI.
One out later, Weeks hit a liner back to the box that caromed off Billingsley and into center field for a two-run single. Gwynn drove in two more with a double to right-center that made it 8-0.
Eleven of Milwaukee’s 13 hits came with two strikes on the hitter. … Betemit is 5-for-6 as a pinch hitter with seven RBIs and three home runs. … The Dodgers entered having allowed just 24 home runs, the second-lowest total in the majors behind San Diego (21). … When Cleveland received an NBA expansion franchise back in 1970, the club held a contest to select the nickname for the team. Tomko’s father, Jerry, who was born and raised in the Cleveland area, submitted “Cavaliers” and won the contest—which included 11,000 entries. … Brewers RHP Greg Aquino, sidelined since April 21 because of tightness in his forearm, was sent to Triple-A Nashville to begin a rehab assignment.