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Hart, Fielder power Brewers past Braves, 6-3

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Associated Press
July 18, 2010
— Prince Fielder says he doesn't care if Atlanta's pitchers are aiming for him as long as his Brewers keep winning.

Corey Hart hit a three-run double in Milwaukee's five-run seventh, Fielder homered before he was hit by a pitch for the second straight game, and the Brewers beat the Braves 6-3 on Saturday night.


Chris Narveson tossed six effective innings to outpitch Tim Hudson as Milwaukee earned its second straight win after losing the opener of the four-game series.


Fielder hit his 21st homer in the Brewers' big seventh and was plunked in the eighth, leading to ejections for Braves reliever Jonny Venters and manager Bobby Cox. Tommy Hanson hit Fielder on Friday night following a homer by Ryan Braun.


"They can do what they've got to do," Fielder said. "I've got to play baseball."


Venters threw a pitch over Fielder's head, and plate umpire Angel Hernandez warned both benches. Venters then hit the stocky slugger on his back with his next offering, and that was it for the left-hander and Cox.


It was Cox's 156th career ejection, adding to his record, and third of the season.


Fielder wouldn't say whether he thought Venters intended to hit him.


"That's someone else's call," he said. "I'm just here to play baseball. ... I'm trying to divorce myself from worrying about it."


Fielder threw his bat down and glared at Venters after he was hit, and Hernandez put his arm around the first baseman and escorted him down the line.


Fielder took a big hop after his homer and carried his bat halfway down the first-base line.


"We didn't (intentionally) hit Fielder last night at all," Cox said. "And we didn't hit him tonight. At all. And that is the truth.


"I don't blame Prince for being mad at all. But it's not intentional."


Milwaukee batters have been hit 47 times, most in the majors, and Brewers manager Ken Macha said he thought Venters should be suspended.


"Our guys dig in," Macha said. "They're not going to move."


Matt Diaz and Eric Hinske homered for Atlanta.


Narveson (8-6) allowed two runs and six hits. John Axford recorded the final four outs for his 11th save.


Hudson (9-5) carried a 2-1 lead into the seventh inning but couldn't hold on for the win. Fielder led off with a drive to center on a 1-2 pitch. With two out, Rickie Weeks walked with the bases loaded and Hart greeted reliever Peter Moylan with a bases-clearing double.


Hudson allowed a season-high six runs in 6 2-3 innings. He also gave up six hits and walked four, including three in the seventh.


"I just wasn't as crisp as I would like to have been," Hudson said. "They were patient and I just didn't make the pitches I needed to."


Cox rested left-handed hitters Jason Heyward and Brian McCann, and stocked his lineup with righties. The manager's strategy likely was influenced by lefty hitters' .204 batting average against Narveson, compared with right-handers' .335 average against the left-hander.


Omar Infante started for Heyward in right field, David Ross was the fill-in catcher and Diaz, hitting only .218, opened in right field. Brooks Conrad played third for another switch-hitter, Chipper Jones, who was held out with a hamstring injury.


Heyward had a pinch-hit single off Kameron Loe in the seventh. McCann struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth. Jones lined out to left field as a pinch hitter in the ninth.


Weeks scored on Fielder's double-play grounder in the fourth, giving Milwaukee a 1-0 lead, but the Braves responded in the bottom half.


Alex Gonzalez hit a one-out single up the middle, giving the shortstop hits in each of his three games since he was acquired from Toronto on Wednesday. With two out, Diaz reached down to whip his bat around on a low pitch, sending his second homer of the season over the left-field wall.


NOTES: All-Star RHP Yovani Gallardo is expected to come off the 15-day disabled list and start at Pittsburgh on Thursday. Macha said LHP Chris Capuano will come out of the bullpen to start Monday's series opener against the Pirates. ... Attendance was 48,174, a sellout.



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