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GAME OF THE DAY

Miller has 7 RBIs in Brewers' victory

July 03, 2007|From the Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Damian Miller, a backup catcher, homered twice during a four-hit game, including a grand slam in a seven-run seventh inning, and his seven runs batted in matched a club record in the Milwaukee Brewers' 10-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday.

Miller was four for five while playing for the first time since his three-run, game-ending homer in the 11th inning beat Houston on Wednesday -- his first homer this season. Miller has three homers and 11 RBIs in two games after previously having no homers and six RBIs.

"There's no explanation for it," Miller said. "I got good pitches to hit."

Doesn't get much simpler than that.

The Pirates should have known better than to pitch to him, given their recent problems pitching to backup catchers. They lost 3-2 to Washington on Sunday, costing them a three-game sweep, when little-used catcher Jesus Flores hit a decisive two-run homer in the sixth inning.

Miller initially wasn't supposed to play Monday -- starter Johnny Estrada was scheduled to take Sunday off, but he stayed in the lineup because Manager Ned Yost thought he matched up better against the Chicago Cubs' Jason Marquis. That meant Miller started in Pittsburgh, where the Brewers had dropped 37 of 55 since PNC Park opened in 2001.

"I forgot what it was like. They've got good lights in the big leagues," said Miller, who normally plays only in day games that follow night games.

Miller's two-run shot against rookie John Van Benschoten made it 3-1 in the fourth inning. In the seventh, 39-year-old rookie Masumi Kuwata (0-1) watched his ERA climb from 2.53 to 7.94 as he yielded seven runs in two-thirds of an inning.

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