Brewers finish sweep of Cardinals to move into first place

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Prince Fielder homered in the bottom of the sixth to give the Brewers their first lead of the day, and Milwaukee held on from there, winning 4-3 to complete a three-game sweep of the Cardinals.

With the victory, the Brewers moved a half-game up on St. Louis for first place in the NL Central.

Shaun Marcum was the winner in this one, staying in to pitch seven innings after originally giving the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.  The Brewers couldn’t touch Jake Westbrook until the bottom of the sixth, when they scored all four of their runs.

Kameron Loe and John Axford pitched scoreless innings after Marcum came out.

The Brewers moved into sole possession of first place in the NL Central for the first time since July 9, 2009.

Fielder’s homer was his eighth in 10 games and 19th overall.  He’s one behind Matt Kemp for the NL lead in homers.  He is tops with 58 RBI, with Kemp two back in second place.

The slumping Cardinals fell out of first place for the first time since May 19.  They were swept in Milwaukee for the first time since April 30-May 2, 2007.

The good news for them is that they’re about to get a couple of key players back.  Kyle McClellan (hip) will return from the disabled list to start Wednesday’s game against the Nationals, and Matt Holliday is expected to be activated on Thursday.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.