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09/08/07 11:20 PM ET
Brewers rally late to beat Reds
Fielder hits 43rd homer, while Weeks comes through in clutch
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- The Brewers have a bad habit this season of losing comfortable leads. On Saturday, they showed the Reds what it feels like. Rickie Weeks hit a go-ahead triple in the ninth inning that capped a comeback from an early three-run deficit, and the Brewers beat the Reds on Saturday, 4-3, at Great American Ball Park and kept pace with the Cubs atop the National League Central. "We did it on the road and we did it here against the Reds, where we haven't done all that well," said Brewers reliever Derrick Turnbow (4-4), who took the win after pitching a perfect eighth inning. "That's a double whammy." Actually it was a triple whammy, when you consider that the win came just after the Cubs had defeated the Pirates. The Brewers needed the rally to improve to 72-69, and with it they remained tied with Chicago atop the division with 21 games to play. Or a quadruple whammy, considering how many times the Brewers have been on the other side of games like this one. They have lost 15 games after leading by three or more runs, tops in the Majors. "All wins are big wins, but when you come back like that, it's a good feeling," said first baseman Prince Fielder, who had two hits, including his National League-leading 43rd home run. "Not that any win is bigger than the other, but it gets you excited when you come back like that." The Brewers improved to 27-43 on the road and 7-52 when trailing after seven innings. They were in an early hole courtesy of Reds rookie Joey Votto, who gave his club a 3-0 lead with a three-run home run in the second inning. The Brewers chipped away. Starter Jeff Suppan helped his own cause when he scored on a Gabe Gross groundout in the fifth inning. Fielder lined a solo home run off tough Reds starter Aaron Harang in the sixth to pull Millwaukee within a run. Fielder had another big night, prompting an "MVP!" chant from a vocal group of Brewers fans seated behind the visitors' dugout. He sparked the tying rally in the eighth inning after drawing a walk on a close pitch from Reds reliever Jared Burton, scampered to third on a Bill Hall double, then tested Reds right fielder Ken Griffey Jr.'s arm on Geoff Jenkins' sacrifice fly to medium-right field. "I've got to go with that guy [Harang] on the mound," Fielder said. "If I didn't go, he probably stays in the game. With those guys, you want to try to get them out. 'Cuz' [third-base coach Nick Leyva] was telling me, 'Go!' as soon as the ball was in the air." Harang allowed two runs and scattered seven hits while striking out seven in seven innings. Facing Reds closer David Weathers in the ninth, Craig Counsell led off with a single and advanced on a sacrifice bunt. That brought up Weeks, who struck out three times Friday and twice more on Saturday before hitting safely in his final three at-bats. "I just told myself to concentrate more, I guess," Weeks said. "I thought a couple pitches could have gone the other way in the first couple at-bats, and I kind of got frustrated a little bit. But in this game that is going to happen, so you have to battle down and stay confident." His go-ahead triple went to the right-center-field gap. "Rickie came through for us when we really needed him," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "That was a huge hit, and a big win for us." Suppan was sharp outside of the second inning and made his 30th start this season, giving the durable right-hander nine consecutive years with at least 30. The Mets' Tom Glavine and the Padres' Greg Maddux (12 seasons apiece) are the only active Major Leaguers with more consecutive 30-start seasons, though Arizona's Livan Hernandez will make it 10 straight years when he makes his next start on Monday. "He's a guy that keeps plugging along without a lot of fanfare," Yost said of Suppan, who signed a club-record contract last December. "He's very consistent in what he does." Suppan surrendered three hits and a walk in six innings. The home run pitch to Votto was down and inside, but the Reds rookie somehow muscled it the opposite way for a three-run homer. "I was surprised with where it was that he actually stayed inside of it and was able to hit it out," Suppan said. "I thought he would have pulled it. But that's the big leagues." The Brewers were bolstered by the noisy group of fans who owned a section near the visitor's dugout. One fan had shaved a Brewers logo into his chest hair. "Yeah, I took a picture with that guy before the game," Turnbow said. "That's hilarious. We love it. "The Milwaukee fans have been great. There have been a lot of them here the last two days, and that definitely helps us out."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.