Fielder sets franchise record with 46th HR, Brewers beat Reds 5-3
MILWAUKEE (AP)—Prince Fielder’s teammates describe him with words such as charismatic, special and unbelievable.
Francisco Cordero has other ideas.
“To me, he’s got to be the MVP,” Cordero said. “I think Prince is going to be the MVP in the National League.”
Fielder hit his NL-leading 46th homer, setting a Brewers franchise record, and Milwaukee’s bullpen held on to beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 on Saturday night. The Brewers pulled within one game of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs, who split a doubleheader at St. Louis.
“I’m just happy I was able to do it and also just happy we’re winning while I did it,” said Fielder, sporting a Mohawk hairstyle this month. “If I did it on a bad team, it’s cool and all, but it doesn’t matter.”
Fielder, who also homered on Friday night, extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games and is batting .422 with seven homers and 12 RBIs in September. He came out for a curtain call and got a hug in the dugout from Damian Miller.
“Prince is a very charismatic guy,” Brewers starter Jeff Suppan said. “He almost seemed like he didn’t know what to do and everyone’s telling him to go out there, you’ve got to go out there for the fans.”
Reliever Jon Coutlangus walked Fielder in the fifth on an inside, head-high fastball that sent the hefty batter sprawling. Fielder glared at Coutlangus, then took his base and scored on Miller’s single off Todd Coffey to make it 4-1.
“I really don’t try to set any tone,” the 23-year-old Fielder said. “I just try to play hard and if people want to follow, that’s fine.”
Brewers manager Ned Yost said his team does just that.
“It’s unbelievable what that young man is doing,” Yost said. “The fans of Milwaukee should be very, very proud that they have a young man like that they can root for.”
Suppan (10-11) pitched in and out of trouble, allowing three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings to beat the Reds for the first time in three years and give the Brewers four starters with 10 wins for the first time since 1992, their last winning season.
Cincinnati had runners in scoring position in the second, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth. Suppan, who signed a $42 million, four-year contract before the season, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth when David Ross grounded into an inning-ending double play.
“I think early when you sign a big contract, I think you put a lot of extra pressure on yourself to live up to it, and he’s lived up to it every time he’s stepped on the mound for me because he’s always given his very best effort,” Yost said.
Cordero, the last of five Brewers relievers, entered with a 4-3 lead with two outs in the eighth after a pair of walks by Derrick Turnbow, then struck out Norris Hopper. Cordero got four straight outs for his 42nd save in 48 chances, stopping Cincinnati’s four-game winning streak.
“I never had a good feeling throughout the game,” Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin said.
Saarloos (1-5) was a little better than in his previous start, when he gave up five runs without getting an out against Pittsburgh on May 27. He allowed three runs and six hits over four innings in this one.
Joey Votto drove in Cincinnati’s first run with an RBI single in the second. Cincinnati closed in the seventh when Hopper hit an RBI double against Suppan and Brandon Phillips singled in a run off Scott Linebrink. Ray King struck out Adam Dunn to end the inning.
“All around, we played through some interesting innings,” Suppan said.
Reds OF Josh Hamilton (hamstring) is not traveling with the team during its 10-game trip and may not play again this season. … Brewers manager Ned Yost said ace Ben Sheets will be pushed up a day and start Tuesday at Houston. Sheets, who gave up five runs in three innings on Friday, will pitch on four days’ rest, while Dave Bush will slide back to Wednesday and pitch on seven days’ rest.