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