Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/27)

Game 1: Monday, September 26
Game 2: Tuesday, September 27
Game 3: Wednesday, September 28

Pirates 4

(72-89, 36-44 away)

Brewers 6

(95-66, 56-24 home)

    8:10 PM ET, September 27, 2011

    Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

    123456789 R H E
    PIT 010021000 4 10 0
    MIL 00202020 - 6 9 1

    W: L. Hawkins (3-1)

    L: J. Hughes (0-1)

    S: J. Axford (46)

    Prince Fielder's 3-homer night propels Brewers past Pirates

    Associated Press

    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 inning, Fielder hit a two-run shot in the seventh that lifted the Milwaukee Brewers to a 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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

    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 homered 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 homer 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 win 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 home clubhouse were tuned to the Diamondbacks' game.

    "They're fired up for it," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said before Arizona wrapped up its victory. "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."

    LaTroy Hawkins (3-1) took the win, 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 homers in the third. Weeks, who sprained his left ankle July 27 and returned Sept. 8, now has 20 homers 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.

    Game 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 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumMiller Park, Milwaukee, WI
    Attendance41,864 (99.9% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time3:12
    UmpiresHome Plate - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Jim Reynolds

    Research Notes

    Prince Fielder has 3 HR on Tuesday. It's his 1st career 3-HR game. It's the 3rd 3-HR game by a Brewers player this season with Casey McGehee on August 3 and Corey Hart on May 23 as the others. Prior to 2011, the Brewers didn't have a 3-HR game since Geoff Jenkins on May 21, 2003. It's the 9th 3-HR game in MLB this season.
    Prince Fielder's 3rd inning home run is the 25th of his career against the Pirates, the most he has hit against any team.
    Prince Fielder hit his 25th, 26th, and 27th home runs in his career against the Pirates on Tuesday, the most in his career against any team. It is also the first three-HR game of his career.

    ESPN Stats & Information