W: Mike Fiers (7-6)
L: Wandy Rodriguez (8-13)
S: Kameron Loe (2)
HR: Rod Barajas (9)
MVP: Aramis Ramirez (+.322)
LVP: John Axford (-.126)
The Brewers picked up a rare road win tonight, and Mike Fiers was the big story.
First, he pitched 6.2 innings and allowed three runs on five hits, walking two and striking out ten. Those ten strikeouts tied a career high, and the overall performance was a significant bounceback from his recent struggles.
At the plate, however, Fiers also played a key, unlikely role in the game-winning Brewer rally. Fiers was 0-for-22 on the season when he dropped a bunt down the third base line with one out in the seventh inning of a tie game and legged out an infield single. He was the first of five Brewers to reach base in the inning as they plated four runs to take a 6-2 lead. Aramis Ramirez's bases-loaded double was the big blow.
Ryan Braun (three walks), Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart combined to get on base eight times tonight and score four of the Brewers' six runs.
Unfortunately, with the Brewer bullpen nothing is ever easy. Jim Henderson and Francisco Rodriguez completed the seventh and eighth innings without incident, but John Axford allowed the first three batters he faced to reach in the ninth and brought the potential walk-off run to the plate with none out before striking out Pedro Alvarez and Jeff Clement, allowing another run to score on a single and being lifted.
Kameron Loe entered the game with the potential tying run on second and two outs and struck out Gaby Sanchez to record the save.
This series continues tomorrow night at 6:05, when Shaun Marcum returns from the DL to face Jeff Karstens.
Tonight's loss dropped the tailspinning Pirates for 8-14 in August.