Posted on 28 June 2011.
How many players can sock a two-run home run in one at-bat and score on a sacrifice fly to the second baseman in the next? That’s the kind of talent Carlos Gomez possesses, which is why the speedy centerfielder has frustrated the decision-makers of both clubs doing battle Saturday night at Miller Park.
For one night, Gomez came back to haunt his former employers by socking a go-ahead, two-run homer, collecting three hits and scoring two runs as the Milwaukee Brewers romped to an 11-1 interleague victory over the Minnesota Twins before a full house of 43, 980.
It has been another frustrating offensive season for Gomez, who had three hits in his previous 32 atbats (.094) with 16 strikeouts. He entered the game batting.210 with a.262 on-base percentage and.339 slugging percentage.
“Hopefully, this gets him going,” said manager Ron Roenicke, who gives the right-handed-hitting Gomez starts against left-handed pitchers.
“I still like the combination of playing him and Nyjer (Morgan) out there (in center). If this gets his confidence going, that can still be a good fit for us.
“His attitude has been awesome through all of this. He wants to get out there. A couple of days ago, I was standing by the cage during BP and he came up to me and said, ‘Hey, don’t forget about me.’ “The rare laugher for the Brewers allowed right-hander Yovani Gallardo to pick up his ninth victory in 13 decisions. Gallardo went seven innings, allowing six hits and one run, with three walks and six strikeouts.
It was a nice about-face for Gallardo, who was rocked for eight runs (five earned) in three innings last time out in Boston.
“The main thing for me is to work on things that weren’t right the start before,” Gallardo said. “You want to turn it around as quick as you can.
“It was nice (to have a big lead). There have been a lot of close games. But you’ve still got to focus and make your pitches.” WORKING FOR A LIVING Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder is one of four major-leaguers to start every game for their respective clubs this season. The others are Florida first baseman Gaby Sanchez, Boston first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.
Gallardo, who often has trouble with mounting pitch counts, threw 46 pitches just to get through the first two innings.
He issued a pair of walks in the first and uncorked a wild pitch as well but escaped without damage when Delmon Young bounced into a force at second on the eighth pitch of his at-bat. With two down in the second, Gallardo allowed a single to Jason Repko, then committed the cardinal sin of walking the pitcher, Francisco Liriano. Ben Revere followed with a sharp grounder that shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt allowed to get through on his back-hand side for an RBI single.
The Brewers wiped out that 1-0 lead in a big way with a five-run outburst in the third inning. Jonathan Lucroy got it started with a leadoff single and Gomez followed with his home run to left on a 1-2 slider from Liriano.
“I stay positive,” said Gomez, who scored from third in the fourth inning when Twins second baseman Alex Casilla made a tumbling catch of Rickie Weeks’ popup into shallow right. “I come here every day to work.
“When I hit that home run, I tell myself that’s what I should do. It’s not about them; it’s not about anybody else.” Before the inning was done, Weeks beat out an infield single and continued to second on Danny Valencia’s throwing error, Corey Hart walked and Ryan Braun drilled a run-scoring single to center, with Hart also scoring when Revere booted the ball. Casey McGehee capped the rally with an RBI single to right.
The Brewers didn’t let up after that, eventually boosting the lead to 10-1 through six innings. One run scored in scary fashion in the fifth inning when Betancourt’s drive to deep left became an inside-the-park home run after Young crashed hard into the wall chasing it and sprained his right ankle. Prince Fielder capped a three-run outburst in the sixth with an oppositefield, two-run homer on a 0-2 slider from lefty Phil Dumatrait. It was Fielder’s 21st homer of the season and 213th of his career, moving him into sole possession of second place on the Brewers’ all-time list.
The game became so lopsided that Roenicke was allowed to give Fielder, Braun and McGehee the final two innings off, with Weeks sitting out the ninth.
“It’s real nice to have this kind of game,” Roenicke said. “We don’t have many. It was nice to see how many innings we scored in, and all through the lineup. When we get it going, that’s what we need to do.”.
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Copyright, 2011, Journal Sentinel, All Rights Reserved.