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.
On Monday evening, the Yankees and Nationals resumed a game from May 15 that was suspended due to inclement weather. The game was suspended after the top of the sixth inning with a 3-3 tie. That, and the next day’s game, were rescheduled for today, a month and three days later.
An interesting thing happened in that month and three days: Juan Soto made his major league debut. Soto, at the time of his promotion, was the minor league leader in home runs. He took his first major league at-bat on May 20, pinch-hitting in a game against the Dodgers. He struck out. He got his first start the next day against the Padres, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI.
When Soto stepped to the plate on Monday evening in the bottom of the sixth inning, technically he is considered to have done so on May 15. As fate would have it, he absolutely obliterated a 97 MPH fastball from Chad Green for a two-run home run. So he homered in his major league debut after having already made his major league debut. Does Soto have a DeLorean? On May 15, Soto was batting third for Double-A Harrisburg. He went 3-for-4 (all singles) with an RBI.
Michael Kay, citing the Elias Sports Bureau on the YES broadcast, said that it still considers Soto’s debut as having occurred on May 20, but he will have an asterisk denoting May 15’s suspended game. His first major league hit and RBI are still considered to have come on his three-run homer against the Padres. So there’s that.