Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder putting on a show in Milwaukee

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The Brewers took a 8-5 lead on the Cardinals in the fifth inning of Sunday’s NLCS Game 1 on a two-run double from Ryan Braun and two-run homers from Prince Fielder and Yuniesky Betancourt.

Braun and Fielder had combined to drive in all six Brewers runs until Betancourt homered with Rickie Weeks on base.  Fielder’s shot, which gave Milwaukee a 6-5 lead, knocked Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia out of the game. Betancourt’s homer came off reliever Octavio Dotel.

The Brewers scored their six runs in the fifth before even one out was recorded.

Milwaukee’s offense picked up a shaky Zack Greinke. He’s allowed five runs through five innings, three of them coming on David Freese’s homer in the fourth.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.