MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Tomo Ohka told Ned Yost he was planning to hit left-handed for the first time.
"I thought, 'Man, as bad as you're swinging, just do whatever you want,'" the Milwaukee manager said. "Four RBIs later, he had a nice day."Ohka drove in a career-high four runs and Prince Fielder hit a three-run homer as Milwaukee beat Colorado 12-6 on Thursday and extended the Rockies' losing streak to six."It's just one game," Ohka said. "But I'm going to keep doing that."
Tomo Ohka took "helping his own cause" to an unusual level Thursday night, driving in a run in each of his first three trips to the plate. Over the past 20 years, only three other pitchers had at least one RBI in each of three separate plate appearances of one game: Bronson Arroyo did it earlier this season, Wade Miller did it in 2003, and Livan Hernandez did it in 1999.• For more Elias Says, click here
Ohka (4-3), a right-handed pitcher, drove in runs in his three plate appearances. After swinging for the fences on the first pitch of his first at-bat and doing a pirouette, he hit the mitt of catcher Danny Ardoin on his next swing, and Geoff Jenkins scored on the catcher's interference."I was so glad he hit the catcher's glove his first time up," Yost said. "I was just hoping that he wouldn't hit the ball because I figured he'd hit into a double play, so I was just
actually just hoping he would strike out there."Ohka, who has been tinkering with swinging left-handed in batting practice, had a two-run single in the third, a slow roller on an 0-2 count that got past shortstop Clint Barmes and put the Brewers ahead 7-0. Ohka added an RBI single to center in the fifth for an 8-3 lead.Hitting right-handed, Ohka is a .130 batter in his career (30-for-230) with 11 RBI. He raised his batting average on the season from .087 to .160."I just tried to hit it up the middle," Ohka said.Rockies manager Clint Hurdle praised Ohka's effort to make himself more comfortable at the plate."Give him a little credit," Hurdle said. "He's doing it for a reason: He thinks he's better."Dating to his previous start, Ohka retired 21 straight batters before Jamey Carroll's single starting the fourth. Ohka wound up allowing six runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He gave up Todd Helton's two-run homer in the fourth, Josh Fogg's RBI double in the fifth and Brad Hawpe's three-run homer in the sixth."It was my best day for my swinging, but not for the pitching," Ohka said.Fogg (9-8), pitching on seven days' rest, gave up eight runs, eight hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings and hit two batters."We need better performances than I gave," he said.Bill Hall homered and Gabe Gross hit a two-run double as Milwaukee took a 4-0 lead in the second. Fielder homered in the
seventh against Manuel Corpas following pinch-hitter Brady Clark's
RBI single."It's not the runs you get early, but it's the runs you get late," Fielder said. "You want to get that one extra one or two extra ones to take the momentum and the fight out of the other team."Milwaukee finished the homestand 5-2 with its first sweep in more than two months."For us to get going, we needed a sweep somewhere. Two out of three is great, but you don't really make up much ground," Yost said. "The sweep is huge."It was the fourth time Colorado lost six or more games in a winless trip after an 0-7 slide in 1999 and 0-6 trips in 2004 and 2005. The Rockies, in the NL West cellar, are a season-worst nine games under .500 at 59-68."When we get back home we have to find a way to win some games," Hawpe said. "There's still a lot of baseball to be played."
Brewers center Damian Miller (concussion symptoms) after the fifth inning. The team said he was injured when hit by a foul ball. ... Brewers third baseman David Bell stopped an 0-for-16 streak with a double in the second. ... Ohka never had three RBI in a season before. ... Brewers pitcher Jeff Juden drove in four runs against Cincinnati on May 5, 1998.