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07/03/08 1:50 AM ET
Cameron clutch in Brewers' exciting win
Outfielder comes through with game-tying, go-ahead hits
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Who says the Brewers can't score in the late innings? They bucked their recent trend on Wednesday, tallying single runs in each of the final four innings for a dramatic 4-3 win over the D-backs at Chase Field that ensured the Brewers will head home Thursday night with at least a .500 road trip. Mike Cameron drove in two of Milwaukee's runs including the game-winner, which came on a one-out RBI single off Arizona closer Brandon Lyon (2-3) in the top of the ninth inning that capped a flurry of late runs by both teams. "That was a wild game, man," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "It was nothing early, and then big hit after big hit from both sides. There were nice defensive plays, a lot of daring baserunning. That was a great game." And it was a departure for the Brewers, who did not score a single run after the sixth inning in any of the first seven games of a 10-game road trip that concludes Thursday afternoon. They snapped that streak with a single seventh-inning run in Tuesday's win, then scored a bunch in the late innings Wednesday to come back from an early 2-0 deficit. J.J. Hardy extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI single in the sixth inning, and Cameron tied the game at 2 in the seventh with an RBI double. Rickie Weeks temporarily put the Brewers ahead with his first career pinch-hit home run leading off the eighth inning before Cameron won it in the ninth. "We were stringing them together," Cameron said. "[Lyon] is fastball, curveball, occasionally changeup. I got the curveball and put a good swing on it. Turns out it was a big hit." Cameron's second clutch hit of the night made a winner of right-hander David Riske (1-1), who entered the game after Weeks' eighth home run gave Milwaukee a 3-2 lead and promptly lost it. Jason Kendall set up on the outside corner for a first-pitch fastball to Arizona outfielder Juston Upton, but the pitch drifted inside. Upton drove it to the left-field seats and knotted the game at 3. Riske held it there, and the Brewers rallied off Lyon in the ninth. Russell Branyan reached on an error by first baseman Mark Reynolds, who is usually the D-backs' third baseman and was manning first for the first time in his career. Gabe Kapler sacrificed Branyan to second base for Cameron, who fouled off three consecutive pitches before ripping the winning hit to left-center field. Salomon Torres surrendered a hit and a walk in the ninth, but induced a game-ending double play for his 15th save. He is 14-for-14 in save chances since taking over for an injured Eric Gagne. Cameron and Hardy had two hits apiece to lead the Brewers. Hardy is hitting .386 (22-for-57) during his streak, but Cameron entered the night hitting .174 on the trip. "Milwaukee hasn't seen Cameron hot," Yost said. "We saw in Spring Training what he's capable of doing. Those are as big of hits as you can get to get us a chance to win that ballgame." Just as clutch was Weeks, who received two liters of intravenous fluids on Tuesday while recovering from what he believed was a bout of food poisoning and stayed in his hotel room the rest of the day. He missed a second straight start on Wednesday but was called upon with the teams tied at 2 in the eighth. "It was like, 'Rickie's a leadoff hitter, let's see if he can't lead off this inning and get on base,'" Yost said. "He put a jolt into one." Weeks fell behind, 0-and-2, before hitting the go-ahead homer to left field. It temporarily put lefty reliever Brian Shouse in line for a win after Shouse doused a D-backs rally in the seventh, when Arizona had runners at second and third with one out but did not score. Arizona stranded 12 men on base and went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Many of those scoring chances came against Brewers starter Seth McClung. While D-backs starter Yusmeiro Petit retired all nine hitters he faced in the first three innings, McClung battled, facing 16 batters in the first three frames. He surrendered seven hits in that span and plunked two batters with pitches, but somehow limited Arizona to two runs. McClung settled in after the third and got the Brewers through 5 1/3 innings, allowing just those two runs on eight total hits with one walk and six strikeouts. "It was kind of a dogfight," McClung said. "They hit some really good pitches, but I tried to limit them to singles. Guys made plays behind me and I really relied on Kendall and the scouting report to get me through some stuff. "I didn't break. I wouldn't break for these guys. We needed the win, so I tried to do the best I could to keep us in it." The Brewers improved to 5-4 on their road trip. They will try to win the series on Thursday behind Manny Parra, who has won seven consecutive decisions. "I want to win [Thursday] but this game guaranteed us at least a .500 trip," Yost said. "That's huge."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.