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Pittsburgh at Milwaukee

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Fielder belts three HRs, including tiebreaker in seventh

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Prince Fielder remembers the last time he hit three home runs in a game. It was in high school, during an intrasquad scrimmage.

For all his baseball-bashing exploits, Fielder had never homered three times in a game in the majors -- until Tuesday.

After massive home runs in the third and fifth innings, Fielder hit a two-run shot in the seventh that lifted the Milwaukee Brewers to a 6-4 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"You guys know me," Fielder said. "If I see it, I'm swinging hard."

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Milwaukee star Ryan Braun went 1 for 2 with a pair of walks, and remains locked in a tight race with the New York Mets' Jose Reyes for the NL batting title going into the final game of the season.

Reyes went 3 for 6 in a loss to Cincinnati and is batting .336 for the year. Braun is at .335.

Rickie Weeks also hit a home run for Milwaukee, his first since returning from an ankle injury -- and as much as Fielder celebrated his own home runs Tuesday, he actually seemed more excited after Weeks' drive.

"There's going to be more of those, I'm sure, from him," Fielder said.

John Axford pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 46th save.

Fielder's decisive final home run actually was the least impressive of the three, barely sailing over the wall in right field after he hit monster shots earlier in the game. But it was the last one that made the biggest difference, breaking a 4-4 tie.

The Brewers remained one game in front of Arizona for the No. 2 seed for the NL playoffs. The Diamondbacks rallied for a 7-6 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 10 innings, keeping alive their hopes for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

After Milwaukee's victory, the televisions in the Brewers clubhouse were tuned to the Diamondbacks' game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"They're fired up for it," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "They're fired up to finish this season off right to get into the playoffs and whether it's just home-field advantage, I don't know. But there's a very good attitude in how we're going about these games."

Fielder is happy the Brewers have something left to play for to keep them sharp, even after they clinched the NL Central.

"That's very important," Fielder said. "Not that we can't do it on the road by any means, but everybody knows we play a lot better at home. It's good to have the fans behind you, get your confidence, a little swag before you have to go on the road."

But even if Wednesday's finale doesn't have a bearing on playoff seeding, Fielder didn't plan on sitting out. He wants to play all 162 games.

"I just like playing," Fielder said. "I don't like sitting on the bench at all."

LaTroy Hawkins (3-1) earned the victory, and Jared Hughes (0-1) was charged with the loss.

Fielder's big night was the third three-homer performance for the Brewers this season and left him with 38 on the year. Corey Hart and Casey McGehee had three-homer games earlier in the season.

Fielder and Weeks hit back-to-back home runs in the third. Weeks, who sprained his left ankle July 27 and returned Sept. 8, now has 20 home runs this season.

Pittsburgh's Ross Ohlendorf scattered five hits in five innings -- but three of those hits went a very long way, thanks to Fielder and Weeks.

Brewers starter Randy Wolf struggled, throwing 111 pitches in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up nine hits and four runs, including a bases-loaded walk that turned out to be his final batter.

"I was a little bit off today," Wolf said. "And every time they scored, we seemed to find a way -- or Prince really found a way -- to step up and have big hits."

After beating the Brewers on Monday, Pittsburgh got off to a fast start. Neil Walker led off the second with a ground-rule double, then scored when a looping line drive by Matt Pagnozzi fell in front of right fielder Hart.

With two outs in the third, Fielder drove a 1-0 pitch from Ohlendorf to the second deck in right field, tying it at 1. Weeks then hammered a ball to left, appearing to rattle the window panes of a restaurant in the third deck.

The Pirates used some deception to take the lead in the fifth. After a ground-rule double by Ronny Cedeno, Ohlendorf came to the plate and faked a bunt to draw the defense in -- then swung away and made solid contact, sending a single through the largely vacant middle of the infield. Cedeno scored on the play to tie at 2.

Ohlendorf later scored on a single by Josh Harrison that glanced off the glove of diving shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, giving the Pirates the lead.

But the Brewers came right back in the bottom half of the fifth. Braun walked with two outs, and Fielder hit a huge home run to center.

The Pirates loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth, and Wolf walked in a run.

But Fielder wasn't finished. After Braun walked in the seventh, Fielder hit his third -- then came out of the dugout for a curtain call.

Notes

  • Making a start in center field, Jerry Hairston Jr. showed his range by running down several fly balls. Roenicke rested Nyjer Morgan after he fouled a pair of balls off his leg Monday, but Morgan appeared as a pinch hitter in the eighth.
  • It was the seventh time the Brewers have hit back-to-back home runs this season.
  • Zack Greinke (15-6, 3.86 ERA) faces Pittsburgh's Jeff Locke (0-2, 4.97 ERA) in the regular-season finale.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Prince Fielder enjoys a monster night Tuesday, hitting three home runs for the first time in his career. (US Presswire)
Prince Fielder enjoys a monster night Tuesday, hitting three home runs for the first time in his career. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

P. Fielder
AB 3
R 3
H 3
HR 3
RBI 5
Pittsburgh

A. Presley
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alex Presley, LF4021110 .298
Josh Harrison, 3B4011005 .272
   a- Garrett Jones, PH1000000 .243
Andrew McCutchen, CF5000013 .260
Derrek Lee, 1B4010003 .266
Neil Walker, 2B4220011 .272
Ryan Ludwick, RF3010102 .237
Matt Pagnozzi, C2011001 .286
   b- Xavier Paul, PH1000010 .255
    Evan Meek, P0000000 .000
Ronny Cedeno, SS3110013 .251
   c- Jason Jaramillo, PH-C1000000 .333
Ross Ohlendorf, P2111011 .214
   d- Ryan Doumit, PH0000100 .304
    Chris Resop, P0000000 .000
    Jared Hughes, P0000000 .000
    Tony Watson, P0000000 .000
   e- Pedro Alvarez, PH1000000 .195
    Chase D'Arnaud, SS0000000 .217
Totals35410436  
a-flied out for Harrison in the 9th
b-struck out for Pagnozzi in the 8th
c-flied out for Cedeno in the 8th
d-walked for Ohlendorf in the 6th
e-grounded out for Watson in the 8th
Batting
2B - Neil Walker 2 (34, Wolf, Wolf), Ronny Cedeno (25, Wolf)
SH - Matt Pagnozzi (3)
RBI - Alex Presley (20), Josh Harrison (16), Matt Pagnozzi (3), Ross Ohlendorf (4)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Presley (8)
SB - Alex Presley (9, 2nd base off Wolf/Kottaras)
Team LOB - 8
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ross Ohlendorf 5544333 8.15
Chris Resop 1100110 4.39
Jared Hughes (L,0-1) 0.1222111 4.09
Tony Watson 0.2000010 3.95
Evan Meek 1100100 3.48
HBP - Weeks (by Ross Ohlendorf)
Pitches-Strikes - Ross Ohlendorf 86-50, Chris Resop 21-13, Jared Hughes 24-15, Tony Watson 6-3, Evan Meek 14-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ross Ohlendorf 7-5, Chris Resop 2-0, Evan Meek 1-1
Batters Faced - Ross Ohlendorf 24, Chris Resop 5, Jared Hughes 4, Tony Watson 1, Evan Meek 4
Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Corey Hart, RF4000114 .285
Jerry Hairston Jr., CF-3B5000014 .266
Ryan Braun, LF2210200 .335
Prince Fielder, 1B3335100 .299
Rickie Weeks, 2B3111022 .271
Casey McGehee, 3B4010001 .224
    Carlos Gomez, PR-CF0000000 .223
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4010010 .254
George Kottaras, C1000210 .252
    Logan Schafer, PR0000000 .333
    Jonathan Lucroy, C1010000 .265
Randy Wolf, P1000000 .164
    Kameron Loe, P0000000 .000
   a- Taylor Green, PH1010000 .270
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
    Francisco Rodriguez, P0000000 .500
   b- Nyjer Morgan, PH0000000 .304
    John Axford, P0000000 .000
Totals2969666  
a-singled for Loe in the 6th
b-hit a sacrifice bunt for Rodriguez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Casey McGehee (24, Hughes)
HR - Prince Fielder 3 (38, Ohlendorf, Ohlendorf, Hughes), Rickie Weeks (20, Ohlendorf)
SH - Randy Wolf (4), Nyjer Morgan (15)
RBI - Prince Fielder 5 (120), Rickie Weeks (49)
2-OUT RBI - Prince Fielder 3 (40), Rickie Weeks (15)
SB - Ryan Braun (32, 2nd base off Ohlendorf/Pagnozzi)
CS - Carlos Gomez (2, 3rd base by Watson/Pagnozzi)
PK - Corey Hart (1, Meek)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Weeks-Betancourt-Fielder
E - Randy Wolf (4, Throwing)
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Randy Wolf 5.2944330 3.69
Kameron Loe 0.1000000 3.50
LaTroy Hawkins (W,3-1) 1100010 2.42
Francisco Rodriguez (H,17) 1000010 2.67
John Axford (S,46) 1000010 1.98
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wolf 111-64, Kameron Loe 2-1, LaTroy Hawkins 10-9, Francisco Rodriguez 16-12, John Axford 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wolf 6-7, Kameron Loe 1-0, LaTroy Hawkins 1-1, Francisco Rodriguez 1-1
Batters Faced - Randy Wolf 28, Kameron Loe 1, LaTroy Hawkins 4, Francisco Rodriguez 3, John Axford 3
Game Information
Attendance - 41864
Game Time - 3:12
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Jim Reynolds