Fielder, Braun supply the power as Brewers rout Astros
*Fielder, Braun supply the power as Brewers rout Astros*
MILWAUKEE 14, HOUSTON 2
By Dave Cotey
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun strengthened
their cases for two of the National League's most prestigious
awards and kept the Milwaukee Brewers in the middle of a pennant
Fielder, a league MVP candidate, and Braun, the front-runner for
the league's top rookie honor, each belted three-run home runs
in the Brewers' 14-2 rout of the Houston Astros at Miller Park
Corey Hart also belted a three-run shot and rookie righthander
Yovani Gallardo pitched seven scoreless innings for Milwaukee,
which remained one half-game behind the Chicago Cubs (71-67) for
the lead in the NL Central.
"A lot of guys are getting hot at the right time, so hopefully
we can continue that trend," Braun said.
The Brewers struck early against Houston starter Matt Albers
(4-6), who walked Rickie Weeks and Gabe Gross to lead off the
bottom of the first. After Braun grounded into a fielder's
choice, Fielder hit his league-leading 41st home run off center
fielder Hunter Pence's glove.
"I like the way we're swinging the bats right now," Brewers
manager Ned Yost said. "We have our share of nice, young players
and they are all chipping in."
In the bottom half of the second, Gallardo doubled with one out
and Gross walked again - this time with two outs - before Braun
hit his 28th home run, tying the franchise record for home runs
by a rookie that was set by Fielder just last season.
"I'm not overly concerned with individual success, I'm just
trying to help the team win," Braun said. "It's nice (the
record) came in a win."
The Brewers added a four-run fourth inning when Hart homered
with two on and two out and Geoff Jenkins followed with a solo
"This game is a breath of fresh air," Hart said. "We scored a
lot of runs, and didn't have to worry about too much. We're on
the right track, and we're feeling pretty good about our
Staked to the large early lead, Gallardo (7-4) cruised while
winning for the third time in his last four tries. He scattered
six hits and struck out five.
"Once we got that lead, I just tried to go out there and make
them put the ball in play - throw strikes," Gallardo said. "The
hitters did a good job. They put some runs up on the board
early and kept on the attack."
Bill Hall added a pinch-hit home run in the sixth inning to
increase the Brewers' major league-leading homer total to 192.
"We had a tough time throwing strikes and keeping the ball in
the zone," Houston interim manager Cecil Cooper said. "Those
guys don't miss when you leave the ball up. You can't make
mistakes against those guys."
Milwaukee went 5-1 on its homestand after having lost six of
"This was a nice homestand," Yost said. "From here on out, I'm
going to manage every game like it's the last game of the
Albers lasted just three innings and allowed seven runs and six
hits with three walks.
Reliever Felipe Paulino, making his big league debut, was not
much better. He allowed five runs and six hits - including
three home runs - in three frames.
The Astros fell to 4-5 since firing manager Phil Garner.