Prince Fielder drove in the game-winning RBI in the eighth inning to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 5-4 victory over the St Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.
The slugger reached on an infield single to score Craig Counsell and lift the Brewers (44-40) to within one game of the Cardinals (46-40) for the National League Central Division lead.
“I have panic speed,” Fielder told reporters, known more for his power than his speed. “A hit is a hit, especially when it’s an RBI to go ahead. I was just trying to put the ball in play.”
Milwaukee overcame a 4-1 deficit to get the win, just their second in the last seven games, with three runs in the fourth inning.
Mat Gamel hit a two-run home run to right field and Counsell got an RBI single against St Louis starter Todd Wellemeyer, who was relieved after four innings and four runs allowed.
Brewers pitcher Jeff Suppan gave up four runs over five-and-two-third innings before the team’s bullpen handled the late innings.
The Cardinals put themselves in a position to snatch a dramatic ninth-inning lead when Skip Schumaker led off the inning with a double and Milwaukee closer Trevor Hoffman walked two more batters.
Hoffman, however, forced St Louis catcher Yadier Molina to ground out with the bases loaded and pick up his 19th save of the year.
“To give up a lead-off double with a one-run lead and not let the run score, that’s a huge outing for Hoffman,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said. “He had to make some pitches and he did.”
Milwaukee’s victory broke a three-game losing streak against the Cardinals, who went out to a 4-1 lead in the fourth when Molina had an RBI double, Brendan Ryan a two-RBI double and Schumaker drove in a run with a single.
Wednesday’s other NL results:
• Astros 5, Pirates 0
• Marlins 7, Giants 0
• Braves 4, Cubs 1
• Rockies 10, Nationals 4
• Diamondbacks 6, Padres 2
• Phillies 3, Reds 2
• Mets 5, Dodgers 4
AP, ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA
Andruw Jones homered in his first three at-bats as the Texas Rangers routed the Los Angeles Angels 8-1 on Wednesday to take the outright lead in the American League West Division race.
Jones hit home runs in the first and third innings, the latter giving Texas a 4-0 lead. He added a solo shot in the fifth.
With a chance to tie the major league record for home runs in a game, Jones popped out in the sixth and struck out in the ninth.
The Rangers hit five homers in all, matching their season high.
It was the second three-homer game for Jones, who also did it in 2007 against Philadelphia.
YANKEES 4, TWINS 3
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, pitcher A.J. Burnett won his third straight start, steering New York to a narrow win over the hosts.
Burnett pitched six-and-a-third innings, walking four and giving up seven hits.
Brett Gardner’s two-run single helped New York build an early lead.
Wednesday’s other AL results:
• Rays 10, Blue Jays 9
• Red Sox 5, Athletics 4
• Tigers 3, Royals 1
• Orioles 5, Mariners 3
• White Sox 5, Indians 1