POSTED: Sunday, July 31, 2011 - 7:35pm
UPDATED: Sunday, July 31, 2011 - 9:48pm
Prince Fielder shot a single up the middle off Franklin graduate Fernando Rodriguez to score Ryan Braun with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning, lifting the first-place Brewers to a 5-4 win over the Astros on Sunday afternoon at sunny Miller Park.
The game was tied at 4 in the eighth when the Brewers rallied against Astros reliever Fernando Rodriguez (2-1), who was pitching his second inning in relief.
Braun started the inning with a double to right field, and the Astros elected to pitch to Fielder despite having first base open. Rodriguez fell behind 3-0 and got the burly slugger to swing at a 3-1 pitch that he bounced up the middle and into the outfield to score Braun easily and put the Brewers ahead.
"Not walking him there, not with nobody out," Mills said. "I didn't want to walk him. The only thing we could have done ... Fernando Rodriguez does such a good job with left-handed hitters, and he's the guy we want to face him right there. We stayed with that. It was a good at-bat, and he put a pretty good swing on a 3-1 pitch."
Rodriguez was trying to be careful with Fielder, who hit a 475-foot home run on Saturday.
"I was thinking, 'Don't let this guy beat you,' trying to get him to roll over or swing over something," Rodriguez said. "We weren't really attacking him because we knew he was going to be aggressive. It was one of those things that didn't work out."
Rodrirguez registered his first loss of the season pitching 1 inning and striking out 2 batters.