MILWAUKEE (AP) — Prince Fielder finally got to sleep about 90 minutes after the sun rose on Friday. No doubt he’ll sleep well after providing the biggest hit for a Milwaukee club that just wouldn’t give up.
Fielder smacked a 450-foot two-run homer in the bottom of the 14th inning, rallying the travel-weary Brewers to a 7-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
After Ryan Braun was walked by Felipe Paulino (0-4) with one out, Fielder drove a pitch deep to right field for the game-winner after Milwaukee had previously erased deficits of 2-1, 4-2, 5-4 and finally 6-5.
“It’s hard on your heart, but it’s a lot of fun, especially when you get the win,” Fielder said.
Fielder was mobbed at home plate as teammates came streaming out of the dugout almost as soon as he made contact.
“It was kind of frustrating overall, with everything that was happening. Braunie got that walk and we had the opportunity to score,” Fielder said. “I was just trying to get a fastball and put good wood on it.”
The Brewers have won eight of their last 11, but appeared to be on the short end of this one when Dexter Fowler drove in the go-ahead run with a bloop single off Mike McClendon (1-0) earlier in the top of the 14th. McClendon appeared to have a sure double play earlier in the inning go awry when shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt bobbled the grounder.
“We had a chance to win it three different times, and they kept answering,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
Milwaukee started this nine-game homestand off in a big way after Fielder’s 10th homer of the year. The Brewers got back to Milwaukee after 5 a.m. following a loss in San Diego and needed 4 hours, 35 minutes to settle this one.
Injured reserve outfielder Nyjer Morgan posted on Twitter earlier in the day he felt like a “zombee” and put up a picture of the sunrise that greeted the Brewers back in Milwaukee.
Fielder said he got to bed a little after 7 a.m., sleeping “in and out” for six hours.
“But it’s all good,” he said, smiling. “I’ve got a job to do.”
Betancourt homered in the 13th to tie it after Seth Smith had put Colorado ahead 5-4 on a two-out triple, setting the stage for Fielder’s big hit.
The Rockies didn’t have left fielder Carlos Gonzalez (groin) and first baseman Todd Helton (back) in the starting lineup, but the replacements hardly missed a beat.
Jason Giambi homered one night after hitting three and driving in seven runs against the Phillies, and Ty Wigginton scored twice. Colorado starter Jason Hammel added the first homer of his career, a two-run shot, but the Rockies’ bullpen couldn’t hold multiple leads.
Neither team got a runner in scoring position in the ninth, 10th, 11th or 12th innings, but both sides benefited from strong defensive plays in the 11th.
Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks ranged far to his right to snag a grounder by Jose Lopez and throw him out at first. In the bottom of the inning, Fowler, in center, was credited with a diving catch off of a liner, though replays showed the ball hit the grass first.
Hammel’s homer gave Colorado its first lead, 2-1.
Milwaukee tied it in the fourth after two errors on one play by Lopez, the third baseman, who bobbled a grounder and threw the ball away, allowing Betancourt to score. Chris Iannetta’s RBI single in the fifth and Giambi’s blast in the sixth off Brewers starter Zack Greinke made it 4-2, setting the stage for yet another Milwaukee rally.
Pinch-hitter Jonathan Lucroy hit a two-out RBI single in the sixth to cut it to one and Casey McGehee led off the eighth with a homer off Rafael Betancourt.
With the late starts in San Diego, the team sent Greinke and Saturday’s starter, Shaun Marcum, back to Wisconsin early to get additional rest and be ready, but the offense didn’t appear to suffer early, either.
Braun’s RBI groundout put Milwaukee ahead 1-0 in the first. It turned out to be the Brewers’ only lead until Fielder’s final shot.
“There was still energy in the dugout,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “It’s a great way to end a long day.”
NOTES: Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki was ejected by umpire Rob Drake for arguing balls and strikes in the eighth. … Giambi left as part of multiple changes after Tulowitzki’s ejection. … Greinke appeared to retaliate by throwing behind Tulowitzki in the sixth after Braun was hit by a pitch in the fifth. … The Rockies recalled RHP Matt Daley from Triple-A Colorado Springs to take the spot of LHP Franklin Morales. Morales was traded to Boston for a player to be named or cash after Thursday’s win over Philadelphia. … C Mike Rivera made his first start for Milwaukee since Oct. 3, 2009. Rivera played briefly for Florida last year and spent the start of this season in Triple-A Nashville.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)