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.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.