Prince Fielder took Pirates pitchers deep three times Tuesday to drive in five of the Brewers’ runs in a 6-4 victory.
The outburst moved Fielder into a tie with Matt Kemp atop the NL home run leaderboard. Both have 38, one more of Albert Pujols in third place.
It’s the ninth three-homer game this season and the third by a Brewer. Corey Hart hit three homers against the Nationals on May 23, and Casey McGehee had the season’s most recent three-homer game, pulling off the feat Aug. 3 against the Cardinals.
Fielder is now alone in second place in the NL with 120 RBI, four behind Kemp. He entered the day tied with Ryan Howard.
If Fielder can at least stay even with Kemp on Wednesday, he’d have his second NL home run crown. He led the league with 50 homers as a 23-year-old in 2007.
Fielder is also looking for his first .300 season. Tonight’s performance pushed his average up to .299.
It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.
Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.
“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”
Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.
After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.