Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Milwaukee won 3-0

Game 1: Monday, April 3
Pittsburgh2Final
Milwaukee5
Game 2: Tuesday, April 4
Pittsburgh5Final
Milwaukee7
Game 3: Wednesday, April 5
Pittsburgh2Final
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Pirates 2

(0-3, 0-3 away)

Brewers 3

(3-0, 3-0 home)

8:05 PM ET, April 5, 2006

Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

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PIT 010001000 2 7 1
MIL 00002001 - 3 6 1

W: M. Wise (1-0)

L: D. Marte (0-1)

S: D. Turnbow (3)

Fielder's late RBI single lifts Brewers past Pirates

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Prince Fielder proved it doesn't take a mighty swat to bust a season-opening slump.

Fielder's looping single scored Geoff Jenkins with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning Wednesday night and lifted the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-2 victory that completed a season-opening three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

A highly regarded prospect who became the Brewers' starting first baseman when the team traded Lyle Overbay in the offseason, Fielder was 0-for-9 with seven strikeouts when he walked in the second to reach base for the first time this season.

He fell behind reliever Roberto Hernandez 0-2 before finally breaking through with a broken-bat bloop hit.

"I'll take it," Fielder said. "I'll take four of those a day if they come."

Fielder, the son of former major leaguer Cecil Fielder, was dropped from fifth to seventh in the lineup Wednesday by Brewers manager Ned Yost, who wanted to take some pressure off of him.

Yost and the Brewers coaches said the strikeouts were no big deal, but Fielder admitted he was getting frustrated.

Did the strikeouts hurt his confidence?

"Maybe a little bit," Fielder said.

Yost tried to calm Fielder, reminding him that they hadn't needed his bat to win the first two games of the series.

"We needed it tonight, and he picked us up big-time," Yost said.

Brewers closer Derrick Turnbow let Pittsburgh load the bases with two outs in the ninth, then got Chris Duffy to pop out to record his third save. Yost suspected Turnbow was "a little bit" tired after opening the season with three straight outings.

"All three games, I just wasn't making that good of quality pitches," Turnbow said. "Just had to battle there."

Matt Wise pitched a scoreless eighth for the victory.

Jenkins' eighth-inning walk off loser Damaso Marte came after a 10-pitch at-bat, allowing Jenkins to atone for a misplayed a fly ball in right that allowed Bay to score in the second, and a strikeout with two out and the bases loaded in the bottom half of the inning.

"That's a tough game to lose, and obviously we're being tested early," new Pirates manager Jim Tracy said.

Pittsburgh's Jason Bay tied the score at 2-2 in the sixth, driving a home run off a beer sign high in center field.

"It's not a good time to buy a lottery ticket if you're a Pirate," Bay said of the sweep. "But that's baseball. Hopefully, that will turn around and it will start falling our way."

Bay's home run was one of relatively few missteps by starter Tomo Ohka, who gave up two runs -- one earned -- and five hits in seven innings.

"(He) didn't even really make a bad pitch to Jason Bay," Yost said in praise of Ohka.

Pirates starter Zach Duke pitched out of bases-loaded jams in each of the first two innings, settling down to retire eight straight batters before giving up a home run to J.J. Hardy in the fifth.

Hardy took a 2-1 pitch high to left field, tying the score at 1-1. It was the second home run of the season for Hardy, who only hit one home run in 187 at-bats before the All-Star game as a rookie last season.

Two batters later, Carlos Lee doubled off the right-field wall past the outstretched glove of Jeromy Burnitz. Lee then scored on a throwing error by shortstop Jack Wilson, giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead.

"That's really unacceptable," Wilson said. "That's the ball I want hit to me every time. To make that bad a throw, there is nothing anybody can do about that. That ended up costing us the game."

Game notes


After some grumbling from players about the bright green background color used in the electronic scoreboards on the left-field wall, the color was changed to a more subdued blue Wednesday night. "Again, we're just experimenting with stuff," Yost said. ... Former major leaguer Jeff Blauser makes his managing debut with the Double-A Mississippi Braves on Thursday -- against Brewers ace Ben Sheets, who is rehabilitating from a shoulder injury. Blauser left his old buddy Yost a sarcastic thanks-a-lot phone message. "I said, don't worry about it," Yost said. "He's only going to throw about 50 pitches. That's about six innings, and then he'll be done."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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