Fielder homers in Brewers win over Giants
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—So much attention has been focused on Milwaukee’s pitching staff lately that it’s been easy to overlook the Brewers’ offense. Not anymore.
Prince Fielder homered for the second straight day, Ryan Braun had three hits and Rickie Weeks added a two-run double to cap a four-run sixth inning to help Milwaukee remain unbeaten against the San Francisco Giants this season with an 8-5 win on Saturday.
“We have a young offensive team and we’re at times not as disciplined as maybe we will be in the future, but they can really swing the bat,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “I like to call this a quick strike offense. We can hit three-run homers with the best of ‘em. Our kids are very, very talented offensively.”
Milwaukee acquired left-handed starter CC Sabathia just before the All-Star break to pair with Ben Sheets as the anchors of the team’s starting rotation. The move put the previously struggling Brewers into the spotlight and spurred NL Central-leading Chicago to trade for Rich Harden.
The Brewers apparently aren’t through trying to upgrade their pitching, either.
A Milwaukee newspaper reported Friday that the Brewers had dispatched a special assistant to New York to watch Oakland closer Huston Street pitching against the Yankees. A radio station took it a step further, saying a trade had been completed Saturday, though a team spokesman denied the report.
Nevertheless, if the Brewers intend to make a run at Cubs in the NL Central they’re going to have to continue flexing their offensive muscle.
Milwaukee trailed 4-2 in the sixth before scoring four times to break the game open. One run scored on a wild pitch and another came home on an error by Giants catcher Bengie Molina—both on the same play. Weeks then doubled to left-center to drive in two more and give the Brewers a 6-4 lead.
“To have a lead like that and not hold it, no question that is frustrating,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “It is what separates good teams from mediocre clubs. Games like this, you have to find a way to win.”
Fielder added his 20th home run of the year off San Francisco reliever Osiris Matos (0-2) in the seventh, a towering shot that easily cleared the stands in right field and landed in McCovey Cove. It marked the 15th consecutive game in which the Brewers have homered, tying the third-longest streak in franchise history. The club record is 19, set in 1996.
It was also the 100th home run of Fielder’s career and his first-ever to reach McCovey Cove, a spot where Barry Bonds splashed many of his home runs on the way to the career home run title.
“It’s cool just because that’s Barry’s thing, that’s his water,” said Fielder, who also had an RBI single in the ninth. “I grew up watching him, I know him pretty good, and to be able to do something that not too many people have done, it’s just pretty cool.”
Braun missed hitting for the cycle by a home run for Milwaukee, which had had nine extra-base hits while winning its third straight.
Sheets, who started and threw two scoreless innings for the American League in Tuesday’s All-Star game, labored throughout the game and had problems with his command.
Sheets gave up nine hits and four runs—two earned—over five innings before turning the game over to Milwaukee’s bullpen. The veteran righty, pitching on three days rest for the first time this season, also had an RBI-double as Milwaukee improved to 5-0 against San Francisco this season.
Omar Vizquel had two hits for the Giants but, typical of San Francisco’s season this year, had to leave the game in the sixth after fouling a ball off his left ankle.
Vizquel entered the game with a .156 average and was 6-for-64 over a 21-game stretch before doubling and singling off Sheets. The veteran shortstop also drove in a run and scored for the Giants, who lost for the ninth time in 11 games.
San Francisco right-hander Jonathan Sanchez struck out eight in 5 1-3 innings but remained winless in his last three starts.
San Francisco reliever Keiichi Yabu hit the first batter he faced for the second straight game. … Giants’ RHP Tim Lincecum (11-2), who did not pitch in the All-Star game after coming down with an illness, will start for San Francisco on Sunday. LHP Manny Parra (8-2) will throw for the Brewers. … Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry and Vida Blue were among 53 former Giants pitchers and catchers honored during pregame festivities as part of the team’s 50th anniversary celebration. Ex-managers Roger Craig and Alvin Dark were also honored.