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.
Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.
Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.
Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.
Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.
Remember Darren Baker, the son of Nats manager Dusty Baker? If you do, it’s because you remember him as a three-year-old bat boy for the San Francisco Giants who, during Game 5 of the 2002 World Series, was almost run over at home plate only to be saved by Giants first baseman J.T. Snow. Simple math makes it obvious that the kid is now 18, but it still feels weird that so much time has passed.
Now Darren is graduating from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California, so father Dusty will miss the Washington Nationals weekend series against the San Diego Padres to attend the ceremonies and festivities. Baker will rejoin Washington when they begin a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday. In the meantime, bench coach Chris Speier will assume managerial duties.