Four-run 9th lifts Brewers past Astros
By COLIN FLY
AP Sports Writer
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Joe Inglett rushed out to first to congratulate Prince Fielder on his winning two-run single. When he got to the burly slugger, Fielder was already airborne in celebration.
The two key players in Milwaukee’s big rally sure enjoyed this one.
Fielder’s clutch hit off Matt Lindstrom capped a four-run ninth inning and gave the Brewers a wild 6-5 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.
“It’s always fun to win, especially like that,” Fielder said. “You hope you don’t have to go that far to win, but every win is always fun.”
Inglett set the stage for Fielder with his first career pinch-hit homer, a two-run drive off the right-field foul pole that got the Brewers within one.
Rickie Weeks then singled and Corey Hart walked before Fielder’s sharp hit zipped down the line and caromed off the short boards in right field, ricocheting past Hunter Pence in shallow right-center field.
Pence ran down the ball and made an accurate throw home, but Hart just slid past the tag of catcher Jason Castro.
“Good call,” Fielder said.
Weeks grabbed Hart in excitement at the plate and Fielder leapt into the air before Inglett came to hug the first baseman.
“I was actually catching a ride to be honest with you,” said Inglett, who managed to knock off Fielder’s helmet but had no chance at taking him down. “It was just instinct, you go to the guy who got it done.”
Houston had won seven of eight overall and four in a row against Milwaukee before Lindstrom squandered another sharp performance from Wandy Rodriguez, who allowed an earned run in 6 1-3 innings.
“I take responsibility for this,” said Lindstrom, who has blown five save opportunities this year. “It’s unacceptable having a three-run lead out there and facing the bottom of the order and letting them get back in the game like that.”
Pence extended his hitting streak to 12 with a two-run double in the third and Brett Wallace doubled in a run in the fifth to give the Astros a 3-1 lead.
Houston scored again in the seventh and ninth to extend its lead to 5-2, but wasted an opportunity for more in its final at-bat. With runners on the corners and nobody out, the Astros could only manage a single run off Kameron Loe (2-2) on Wallace’s double play.
Before the ninth, Milwaukee had been 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. But the Brewers rallied for their 23rd come-from-behind victory.
Lindstrom walked George Kottaras, who is hitting .197 this year, and Inglett added his major league-best 15th pinch hit to make it 5-4.
“I was just willing it to stay fair — and it stayed fair,” Inglett said.
Lindstrom said he made a bad pitch to Inglett and wasn’t sharp from then on.
“I kind of lost my location, just was trying to battle against myself a little bit, trying to find the zone,” he said.
He never did, and Fielder and the rest of the Brewers made him pay.
“Any time you see Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart and then Prince Fielder coming up, you know you have a great shot of winning the game,” Inglett said. “It was in our corner and I’m glad we did come out with the ‘W.'”
NOTES: The Brewers placed CF Carlos Gomez (concussion) on the 15-day disabled list before the game and called up CF Lorenzo Cain for the first start of his career. … Astros RHP Brian Moehler, on the 15-day DL since July 8 with a strained right hamstring, tore a tendon in his groin during a simulated game Wednesday. He is considering surgery. … Astros RHP Felipe Paulino (right rotator cuff) will consult Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on Thursday. … Brewers C Jonathan Lucroy wasn’t in the lineup, but made it to the ballpark after the birth of his daughter, Ellia Elisabeth, earlier Friday.
Updated Aug. 6, 2010