Fielder connects again, and Sabathia wins again
Prince Fielder homered for the second straight game, his 28th, to get the Brewers going in the second. Milwaukee added two more runs in the inning.
Sabathia (7-0) has been sensational for the Brewers in eight starts since being acquired from Cleveland in a trade on July 7. The reigning AL Cy Young winner won his 10th straight decision to extend his career high.
Sabathia allowed one run and nine hits and lowered his ERA with Milwaukee to 1.55. He struck out eight and walked one.
The left-hander was at his best in the fifth inning when he escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam without allowing a run by retiring San Diego’s 3-4-5 hitters.
San Diego had its chances against Sabathia, who retired the Padres in order just once. But Sabathia pitched out of enough trouble to strand nine runners and struck out the side in his final inning, sandwiched around an infield single.
The Brewers still dropped 3˝ games behind first-place Chicago in the National Central. The Cubs swept a doubleheader at Atlanta on Wednesday, while the Brewers climbed to 19 games over .500 at 70-51 and remained four games ahead of St. Louis in the NL Wild Card race.
Cory Hart, who had three hits, added a three-run triple in a four-run fifth inning as the Brewers increased their lead to 7-1.
The Padres’ only run came in the fourth after Chase Headley doubled with one out and went to third on Edgar Gonzalez’s single. Nick Hundley followed with a run-scoring ground out.
San Diego loaded the bases in the fifth on singles by Luis Rodriguez and Scott Hairston, and Brian Giles’ infield single. But Sabathia got Kevin Kouzmanoff on a popup, struck out Adrian Gonzalez and retired Headley on a grounder.
Sabathia’s quality outing continued a recent trend for Milwaukee, whose starters are 9-2 with a 1.95 ERA in the last 12 games.
Fielder started the Brewers’ scoring in the second with a leadoff line drive homer to right off Josh Banks (3-5). After a pair of walks, Jason Kendall hit an RBI single and Sabathia drove in a run with a ground out.
Milwaukee scored again in the fifth after two walks, including an intentional one to Fielder that loaded the bases, and an infield single. Hart followed with a triple into the left-field corner to knock Banks from the game. Craig Counsell added a sacrifice fly.
Banks allowed seven runs and five hits with six walks in 4 1-3 innings.
Game Notes: The eight-game winning streak matches Milwaukee’s season high ... Padres rookie shortstop Scott Kazmar had a memorable major league debut with a single in his first at-bat on the first pitch he saw against Sabathia. Kazmar was recalled from Double-A San Antonio on Tuesday ... Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun sat out his fourth consecutive game with tightness in his lower back.
Last updated: 10:00 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012