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Fielder goes deep, Narveson fans 10 to lead Brewers past Cubs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Chris Narveson had the chance to leave the Brewers in July. General manager Doug Melvin convinced him he should stay.

Narveson struck out 10 for his first victory as a starter and Prince Fielder hit his 42nd home run to give him a majors-best 131 RBI, helping the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Wednesday night.

"I think it all lies in your heart. I knew that Doug Melvin, he had always been honest with me, he'd always been upfront," said Narveson, who got a face full of shaving cream as a congratulations from his teammates. "I knew that we could win and I wanted to be able to get back up here and put myself in position to actually compete and help out."

Jody Gerut hit a home run for the Brewers, who avoided a three-game sweep but had been eliminated from the postseason on Tuesday. Chicago is still mathematically alive since St. Louis lost 3-0 to Houston, but the Cardinals clinched at least a tie for the NL Central title and now have a magic number of one.

The Cubs dealt with the Milton Bradley distraction for another day.

  Playoff Race | Bradley apologizes

The suspended outfielder released a statement apologizing for his behavior, but Chicago has been better off without him with three victories in four games since he was banished for the season.

Narveson (2-0) was designated for assignment by the Brewers in July, but returned last month and was sharp into the sixth inning in his third start for the Brewers. He could make two more to show he deserves consideration for the rotation next season.

"We'll see what happens," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "Sometimes when you take a backward look at things, guys get through waivers and then there's a lot of clubs kind of kicking themselves that they didn't pick him up."

Narveson's only mistake came when Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija (1-3) led off the sixth inning with a home run, his first career hit.

"I'll keep it," Samardzija said. "I've got all my little league ones with how far it went and the date. We'll add a couple feet."

After a single by Ryan Theriot, Narveson struck out Tyler Colvin and the surging Derrek Lee to end his night. Narveson left the mound smiling after he asked catcher Jason Kendall about Samardzija's home run.

"I asked Kendall, 'Hey, did I get that pitch away?' And he goes, 'That was a bomb,' and that was all he said, so I kind of smiled and just walked off," Narveson said.

Lee, who is hitting .387 in September, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts against the Brewers after coming in 6 for 8 with two home runs and six RBI.

Bobby Scales' pinch-hit RBI double off reliever David Weathers in the seventh cut Milwaukee's lead to 3-2, but Claudio Vargas pitched the eighth and Trevor Hoffman worked around a one-out single by Jeff Baker in the ninth for his 35th save.

Fielder's opposite-field home run in the fourth off Samardzija gave Milwaukee a 2-0 lead. He already has the franchise mark for RBI and is two ahead of Albert Pujols.

"I think that's the story of his year, using the whole field," Macha said. "He's got power to all fields."

Gerut's home run off Samardzija made it 3-1 in the sixth and Samardzija, making his second career start, was chased after Ryan Braun followed with a single.

"I thought he was much improved," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said of the hard throwing right-hander. "He's starting to look like a major league pitcher, and he sure as hell looked like a major league hitter."

Bradley signed a $30 million, three-year contract with the Cubs in the offseason, but hit .257 with 12 home runs and 40 RBI and has been booed loudly at Wrigley Field.

The organization suspended Bradley for the season on Sunday for a series of incidents. Bradley said he signed with Chicago to help bring a title to Cubs fans, but didn't have the season he expected and his frustration boiled over.

"I wish that I handled certain things differently," Bradley said. "And I apologize for those things that did not work out for the better."

Notes

  • Narveson's 10 strikeouts were the most by a Brewers rookie since Steve Woodard had 11 on July 29, 1998, at St. Louis.
  • Cubs OF Reed Johnson doubled in his first at-bat since returning from the 15-day DL on Monday. Johnson broke his left foot on July 29 and went on the DL the next day.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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No turmoil here. Apparently, this is how Ryan Braun (left) and Prince Fielder celebrate home runs.  (AP)
No turmoil here. Apparently, this is how Ryan Braun (left) and Prince Fielder celebrate home runs. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

R. Braun
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Milwaukee

P. Fielder
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Chicago Cubs
Ryan Theriot, SS4010003 .286
Tyler Colvin, CF4000023 .200
Derrek Lee, 1B4000021 .308
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3000110 .322
Jake Fox, LF4000012 .274
Jeff Baker, 2B4120020 .302
    Sam Fuld, PR0000000 .260
Reed Johnson, RF2010010 .255
   a- Bobby Scales, PH-RF2011011 .252
Geovany Soto, C4010012 .219
Jeff Samardzija, P1111001 .200
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .231
    Justin Berg, P0000000 .000
   b- Mike Fontenot, PH1000001 .242
    Jeff Stevens, P0000000 .000
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
Totals33272111  
a-doubled for Johnson in the 7th
b-grounded out for Berg in the 7th
Batting
2B - Reed Johnson (8, Narveson), Bobby Scales (8, Weathers)
HR - Jeff Samardzija (1, Narveson)
SH - Jeff Samardzija (1)
RBI - Bobby Scales (14), Jeff Samardzija (1)
SB - Ryan Theriot (21, 2nd base off Coffey/Kendall)
Team LOB - 6
Chicago Cubs
Jeff Samardzija (L,1-3) 5533132 7.53
Sean Marshall 0.1000010 4.39
Justin Berg 0.2000020 0.00
Jeff Stevens 1000000 8.68
John Grabow 1000010 3.10
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Samardzija 82-54, Sean Marshall 6-4, Justin Berg 9-7, Jeff Stevens 15-10, John Grabow 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Samardzija 8-4, Jeff Stevens 1-2, John Grabow 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Samardzija 21, Sean Marshall 1, Justin Berg 2, Jeff Stevens 3, John Grabow 3
Milwaukee Brewers
Felipe Lopez, 2B3000100 .309
Jody Gerut, RF4111002 .237
Ryan Braun, LF4120010 .315
Prince Fielder, 1B3112011 .297
Casey McGehee, 3B3000031 .302
Mike Cameron, CF3000011 .251
Jason Kendall, C3000000 .237
Alcides Escobar, SS3010000 .297
Chris Narveson, P1000010 .000
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
   a- Frank Catalanotto, PH1000000 .280
    Claudio Vargas, P0000000 .000
    Trevor Hoffman, P0000000 .000
Totals2835317  
a-flied out for Weathers in the 7th
Batting
HR - Jody Gerut (9, Samardzija), Prince Fielder (42, Samardzija)
SH - Chris Narveson (1)
RBI - Jody Gerut (34), Prince Fielder 2 (131)
SB - Ryan Braun (16, 3rd base off Berg/Soto)
Team LOB - 3
Milwaukee Brewers
Chris Narveson (W,2-0) 5.24110101 3.82
Todd Coffey (H,25) 0.1000100 3.00
David Weathers (H,20) 1211000 3.49
Claudio Vargas (H,10) 1000000 1.93
Trevor Hoffman (S,35) 1100010 1.84
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Narveson 70-54, Todd Coffey 11-6, David Weathers 19-14, Claudio Vargas 5-4, Trevor Hoffman 14-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Narveson 4-3, Todd Coffey 1-0, David Weathers 2-1, Claudio Vargas 2-1, Trevor Hoffman 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Narveson 21, Todd Coffey 2, David Weathers 5, Claudio Vargas 3, Trevor Hoffman 4
Game Information
Attendance - 32340
Game Time - 2:25
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Tony Randazzo, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Brian Runge, Third Base - Jerry Layne