Brewers keep fading hopes alive, rout Cards

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

MILWAUKEE -- Prince Fielder hit his NL-leading 48th home run and the Milwaukee Brewers moved within three games of first place, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 13-5 on Monday night.

Brewers manager Ned Yost was ejected for the second consecutive day even though his team gained a half-game on the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. But simply winning in the final week of the season won't be enough to save the Brewers' fading playoff hopes.

They'll need some cooperation from the Cubs, who were off Monday and finish the season with six games on the road. Chicago's magic number -- the combination of Cubs wins and Brewers losses needed to clinch the division title -- remained at four.

But if the Brewers are going down, they're going down swinging. And so is their manager.

Yost's ejection came after the Brewers had the game well in hand.

Milwaukee scored four runs off starter Adam Wainwright (13-12) before he got his first out of the game. The four-run first included a three-run homer by Fielder.

Milwaukee then put the game out of reach -- no small task, considering the recent performance of its bullpen -- with five runs in the fifth and three in the sixth, including a a two-run homer by rookie Ryan Braun, his 33rd.

The Cardinals couldn't manage enough offense against Brewers starter Dave Bush (12-10), who gave up five runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Albert Pujols, who had missed five straight starts because of a strained left calf muscle, talked Cardinals manager Tony La Russa into allowing him to start Monday's game.

Pujols came in needing one RBI to become the first player to reach 100 in his first seven seasons but was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Notes: Cardinals C Yadier Molina and LHP Mark Mulder had surgery

in St. Louis and will miss the final week of the season. Molina had right knee surgery and Mulder had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder. Molina is expected to be able to resume full athletic activity in four to six weeks. Mulder should be ready for competitive activity in 2008. ... St. Louis CF Jim Edmonds, day-to-day with a groin injury, hasn't started since Sept. 17.

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