Brewers back in a groove
Fielder homered twice, and starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo hit a home run and was good enough over six innings to earn the victory as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Houston Astros, 7-5, on Tuesday night.
“I have never been a guy to hit singles to left field. That just happens,” Fielder said. “But when I see the ball and try to swing hard like I do, more often than not good results happen. I just have got to make sure I swing like I swing.”
Fielder has hit 10 of his 17 home runs in June after a slow start and is one behind the league leaders: teammate Corey Hart and Arizona’s Mark Reynolds.
Fielder has hit four on the homestand and has helped Milwaukee to seven victories in nine games. On Tuesday, Milwaukee had four homers off Astros starter Brett Myers (5-6).
“We just hit the mistakes, I guess,” said Fielder, who couldn’t remember what pitches he hit for his two home runs. “I don’t know the exact formula we used, but we were able to hit mistakes and hit them hard.”
Gallardo (8-3), coming off a five-hit shutout over Minnesota, labored in six innings, giving up four runs, seven hits and two walks. He struck out five, including the last three batters he faced.
John Axford pitched a shaky ninth for his eighth save in as many chances. Michael Bourn singled with one out, and Lance Berkman drove him in with a two-out double, but Hunter Pence grounded out to end it.
Myers, 4-1 with a 1.94 ERA in nine career games against the Brewers, had his worst outing of the year, giving up a season-high seven runs and nine hits in six innings.
The four home runs Myers surrendered were a career-high – and equaled the number the Brewers had hit against him in his career previously.
“It was different, wasn’t it?” Houston manager Brad Mills said. “The way he’s pitched all year, that was something that we’ve come not to expect. It was a little bit surprising.”
The Brewers were looking to rebound after one of their toughest losses of the season Monday, when they blew leads of 4-0 and 5-2 to lose 9-5 to Houston.
Gallardo got things started.
With one out in the third, he smacked a first-pitch fastball from Myers off the back wall of the Brewers bullpen. It was his third homer of the season and seventh in his career.
Hart singled with two outs to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, and Fielder followed with a blast to right that landed halfway up the second deck just inside the foul pole.
Gallardo played a role in the Brewers’ two-run fourth-inning, drawing a two-out, bases-loaded walk that brought up Rickie Weeks, whose single drove in two.
Weeks leads the majors in homers (13) and RBIs (47) from the leadoff spot.
Houston made it 5-3 with three runs in the fifth, two on an RBI single by Bourn and another on an RBI single by Berkman.
Fielder’s solo shot in the fifth—to a few rows near the same spot as his first—gave him the 19th two-home-run game of his career and his second this season.
“Everybody always says that he always gets off to a slow start,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said. “Here we are in June. He’s warming up, and doing what he did tonight and actually this whole homestand ... will be a big boost for us.”
Pedro Feliz hit a solo homer in the sixth for Houston, but Jonathan Lucroy homered in the bottom of the inning for Milwaukee.
That was enough for Gallardo, who admittedly was not at his best.
“It just got out of hand there for a little bit,” Gallardo said. “We’re not going to feel great every start. But it’s just the way this game is.
“We have a great offense. Our hitters, one through nine, do a great job.”
Gallardo would be the “nine.”
“He’s pitching good and hitting homers,” Fielder said. “He’s locked in all the way around.”
Despite his struggles, Myers became the only pitcher in the major leagues to throw at least six innings in each of his first 16 starts.
“It was just one of those days,” Myers said. “I made good pitches on a few of them and they hit them. I’m disappointed in the way it went down. Overall, the way I’ve been pitching this year so far, I just kind of got to let this one roll off.
“I figured it was going to happen sooner or later, and it did.”