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.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.