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MILWAUKEE -- Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun are both strong MVP candidates for the Milwaukee Brewers. Fielder thinks Braun is putting together the more compelling case. "MVP year," Fielder said. "Hes been outstanding. Batting title possibly, the home runs, stolen bases, RBIs. Hes done magnificent." Braun homered and raised his NL-best batting average to .333, lifting the Brewers to a team-record 55th victory at home, 9-5 over the Florida Marlins on Sunday. "This is a special year, man," Brewers centre-fielder Nyjer Morgan said. "I dont want to say too much yet, but yeah, special. Really special." Every position player had a hit for the NL Central champions before the first out of the third as Milwaukee swept the season series from the Marlins (7-0) for the first time since 1998. Milwaukee scored three in the second and four in the third before Brauns opposite-field solo shot in the fourth. The sellout crowd again serenaded him with chants of "M-V-P" as it did throughout a memorable weekend. Braun finished 2-for-3 before leaving after the fifth and leads Mets shortstop Jose Reyes (.331) for the batting title. No Brewers or Mets player has ever won the crown. "Hes the MVP of the league," Morgan said. "Hopefully, (Friday) kind of locked it up for him. I hope that really locked it up. I think it really showed that he should be the MVP." On Friday, Brauns three-run homer in the eighth inning led Milwaukee to a 4-1 victory and its first division title since winning the AL East in 1982. On Saturday, he drove in two runs as the Brewers rallied from three deficits for a 6-4 win. In this one, Braun singled and scored in the four-run third before hitting his 33rd homer off reliever Brian Sanches to give Milwaukee an 8-1 lead in the fourth. "With him, its plate discipline," manager Ron Roenicke said. "When hes disciplined and swinging at strikes, theres no place to get him out." Braun has 110 RBIs and a 30-30 season with 31 stolen bases. Fielder is hitting .293 with 35 homers and 114 RBIs. Braun, Fielder and Rickie Weeks all left the game in the later innings as Roenicke works to give his starters as much rest as he can before the post-season. "Im going to keep playing," Fielder said. "Playing every day means a lot to me. Plus, weve got two days off before the playoffs. Nothings hurt on me. Its not like Ill feel any different." The Brewers have won seven of nine and need to finish with a better record than NL West champion Arizona to secure home-field advantage in the first round. Playing at home is especially important to the Brewers. Milwaukee is a major league-best 55-23 at Miller Park, topping the 1978 clubs 54-27 mark at County Stadium. "We know how important that is," Brewers starter Chris Narveson said. "We want to end it strong at home." The Brewers finish the regular season against Pittsburgh beginning Monday and are 36-3 at home against the Pirates over the last five seasons. "Theyre definitely top five (in baseball), especially in this ballpark," Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco said. "The ball flies. Theyve got the adrenaline. Theyve got the fans. It makes all the difference in the world." The Marlins hope for that atmosphere starting next season when they move into a new retractable-roof ballpark. Florida finished 40-41 on the road and returns home to play Washington in cavernous Sun Life Stadium for the final time. Emilio Bonifacio led off the game with a homer against Narveson (11-8) for the switch-hitters second home run in as many days and first in 390 career right-handed at-bats. Donnie Murphy added a fifth-inning homer that made it 8-2. Narveson worked into the seventh in his longest outing since July 31 before Omar Infantes two-run double off Kameron Loe made it 8-4. The Brewers added a run in the bottom of the inning and the Marlins answered in the eighth. Nolasco (10-12) didnt get much defensive help. The Brewers hit three consecutive RBI singles in the second that all barely left the infield following third baseman Matt Dominguezs error to take a 3-1 lead. Milwaukee scored four more in the third inning to make it 7-1, chasing Nolasco on Jerry Hairston Jr.s run-scoring double. Yuniesky Betancourts RBI single off Sandy Rosario gave every Brewers starter a hit before the first out in the third. "Once the team starts struggling, everything gets exposed," Nolasco said. "We cant sit here and blame anything on anything or anybody." NOTES: Brewers 3B Casey McGehee had a day off after a 1-for-31 slump. Roenicke said "good question" when asked whether McGehee will be the starter when the playoffs begin. He said the Brewers are in the process of evaluating it. ... The Brewers will use potential NLDS Game 1 starter RHP Shaun Marcum (13-7, 3.31 earned-run average) against Pirates RHP Charlie Morton (10-10, 3.67) on Monday. ... The Marlins, to be renamed the Miami Marlins on Nov. 11, will start RHP Anibal Sanchez (8-9, 3.67) against Nationals LHP Tommy Milone (1-0, 3.32) in Monday nights opener. www.jerseyssteelers.com/Jersey-Casey-Matthews.htm . But now that hes achieved the round number, he acknowledges its importance. "Its a nice little milestone," said Janssen. www.jerseyssteelers.com/Jersey-Mychal-Kendricks.htm . But there are many hurdles to clear and questions to answer before pro football is actually back on track. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson gave the players an early victory Monday in their fight with the owners over how to divide the US$9 billion business, granting their injunction request to lift the lockout. http://www.jerseyssteelers.com/. - The San Jose Sharks finally grinded out a win again in the best way they know how: at home and in a shootout against the Colorado Avalanche. www.jerseyssteelers.com/Jersey-Fletcher-Cox.htm . Miguel Cabrera made it look simple. "Thats a hard spot to hit the ball out and he did it with ease," Fister said. "That guy is such a special hitter." Cabrera hit a two-run homer and drove in Detroits first four runs, Fister threw seven strong innings against his former team, and the Tigers beat the Seattle Mariners 6-2 on Tuesday night. www.jerseyssteelers.com/Jersey-Ron-Jaworski.htm . The backup point guard scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter as Toronto defeated the New Orleans Hornets 102-89 Sunday. Casey wasnt pleased to see an 11-point Toronto lead in the second quarter quickly erased as the Hornets went on a 10-0 run with the Raptors second unit on the floor. BOSTON -- Exactly five hours of playing time. More than 2 1/2 hours of rain delay. A total of 14 pitchers and 13 innings. And, finally, one decisive swing. Bobby Abreu hit a two-run, two-out single off first-time reliever Daisuke Matsuzaka in the 13th and the Los Angeles Angels closed out a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox at 2:45 a.m. on the East Coast on Thursday. "It was a game where there could have been some letdown," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, "but the guys hung in there and came out in the end." Boston, hitless for the first 6 1-3 innings, tied the score with two runs in the ninth inning and nearly won it in the 12th against Trevor Bell (1-0), but Marco Scutaro was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on Kevin Youkilis double high off the wall in left. "I thought that was the ball game," Bell said. "I started to walk off the field." Daniel Bard, who pitched the 11th and 12th for Boston, was ready to jump on it. "When I saw the ball by Youkilis off the wall, I was on the top step ready to celebrate," he said. "It took a perfect relay to get him. ... Theyre aggressive mistakes. Id rather see that than the other way around." Youkilis advanced on Darnell McDonalds infield single, but Jed Lowrie grounded out. Running out of pitchers, Boston manager Terry Francona turned to Matsuzaka (2-3) as his seventh reliever of the night and morning. Matsuzaka, who has started 103 games in five seasons with the Red Sox, surrendered a leadoff single to Howie Kendrick. Vernon Wells flied out and Jeff Mathis popped up, but Peter Bourjos singled and Erick Aybar walked to load the bases. "It took a lot of guts on his part," Bard said of Matsuzaka. "He took one for the team." Abreu, who had been 0 for 6 with two strikeouts, then lined his single to right-centre field. "Bobby actually hit the ball pretty well," Scioscia said. "He didnt have a lot to show for it." His hit, though, gave the Angels their first win over the Red Sox in seven games this season and kept them tied for first in the AL West with the Texas Rangers. The Red Sox missed a chance to reach .500 for the first time this year as their winning streak ended at three games. The game had been interrupted by a steady rain after Josh Beckett struck out Kendrick leading off the fifth, and Beckett didnt return after the delay. Los Angeles starter Ervin Santana was dominannt for four innings, striking out seven and issuing one walk.dddddddddddd "I was really in command of all of my pitches," he said. "No matter what time it is, we stayed together. At the end, we got it." Rich Thompson replaced him when the game resumed and pitched 1 2-3 hitless innings before Scott Downs retired the last batter in the sixth. Downs also got the first out in the seventh before Lowrie got Bostons first hit on a clean single to right. The difficulty of rescheduling the game the series finale is Thursday afternoon and the teams had no common off day led to the unusually long rain delay. "Sitting arounds the worst part for everyone," said Jason Varitek, who caught all 13 innings for Boston. "It is late. Both teams grinded a lot tonight." In the bottom of the seventh, a cleanup crew was at work in the mostly empty bleachers. And by the end, only a few thousand spectators remained. Adrian Gonzalez hit an RBI single in the eighth and Boston added two more in the ninth to tie it at 3. Then Bell, who was called up April 22, allowed four hits and one walk with three strikeouts in four innings. "He was strectched out to 100 pitches a few weeks ago in the minors," Scioscia said. Wells, batting .176 mostly from the fifth spot in the lineup, hit seventh for the first time in his career and connected for a two-run drive in the seventh inning. Wells third homer of the season scored Kendrick, who reached on a leadoff double. Aybar added a sacrifice fly in the ninth, but Boston rallied in the bottom half. Lowrie led off with a walk and took second on Mike Camerons single. Jordan Waldens wild pitch sent Lowrie to third and when catcher Hank Conger threw wildly to try to get him, Lowrie scored. But the ball bounced and stayed in the infield when it hit third-base umpire John Hirschbeck, allowing Aybar to field it and throw Cameron out at third. Carl Crawford then doubled, and, after Varitek struck out, Jacoby Ellsbury lined a full-count pitch to right field for the tying single. NOTES: Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia went 0 for 6 with four strikeouts. ... Before the game, Scioscia said, "Were still trying to get different dimensions of our lineup. Were still waiting for Vernon to get going." ... Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 12 games and Gonzalez stretched his to 11. ... Boston DH David Ortiz fouled a ball off his right foot in the second but stayed in the game and struck out. ' ' '

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