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PIT@MIL: Roenicke on Fielder's big day, win

The Brewers were in a holding pattern after beating the Pirates on Tuesday, and every TV in the clubhouse was tuned to the game between the Dodgers and the D-backs. The outcome would dictate how the Brewers use starter Zack Greinke in Wednesday's regular-season finale, which in turn would dictate whether Greinke would pitch Game 2 or Game 3 in the National League Division Series.

The outcome could not have been what the Brewers wanted -- or expected.

The D-backs defeated the Dodgers, 7-6, on Ryan Roberts' walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning -- having gone into the frame with a 6-1 deficit -- to keep alive the race for the No. 2 seed in the NL and the right to play the first round of the playoffs at home. The Brewers, who lead the D-backs by one game, can still secure home-field advantage in the first round with a win or an Arizona loss Wednesday.

Arizona's victory also means Greinke, who is pitching on three days' rest, will make a full start against the Pirates and is now on track to start Game 3 of the NLDS. Shaun Marcum will start Game 2.

It should surprise no one that Prince Fielder will join Greinke on the field in the season finale. The first baseman is on track to become the second player in Brewers history to play all 162 games twice in his career.

"I'm playing," said Fielder, who enjoyed the first three-homer game of his career in Tuesday's win. "I play."

Fielder played all 162 games in 2009, and would have again in 2010 if not for an illness in September that necessitated two bags of intravenous fluid.

"It's just special, man," he said. "It's a good year, and you never know when you might have this chance again. I'm trying to take advantage of it. ... No. 1, I just like playing. I don't like sitting on the bench at all. A couple of times my rookie year, I didn't have a choice, so I always said, 'If I have a chance to play every day, I'm going to do it.'"

Fielder's actions go against what he told an FS Wisconsin reporter amid the Brewers' clinch celebration on Friday night. He predicted he would take Saturday off. He did not.

"It didn't feel right," Fielder said with a laugh. "I thought about it, it sounded great, but it just didn't feel right. Plus, my wife was like, 'You need to play.' She was pumping me up."

Wednesday is also a big day for Pirates starter Jeff Locke. The start will mark the last chance for the rookie left-hander to win his first Major League game this season. He has come up short in his first three tries this month after being a September callup, but he has shown improvement.

Though Locke's last start, a 4 2/3-inning outing against the Reds, wasn't the longest of the three, it was his best. He simply looked more comfortable than he had been in his previous outings.

"It's a process," Locke said. "I'm definitely taking the mound now and the nerves are gone. The composure is there. I still am leaving some pitches up and falling behind some hitters. ... You have to find a way to get ahead of those guys."

Pirates: McCutchen back in lineup after injury
• Center fielder Andrew McCutchen returned to the lineup on Tuesday, and he went 0-for-5. He missed Monday's game after being hit in the lower abdomen by a batted ball during batting practice.

• The Pirates need a win Wednesday to finish with fewer than 90 losses for the first time since 2003.

Brewers: Fielder enjoys home cooking
• Fielder does not need to be reminded of how significant home-field advantage is to his club. Milwaukee's 55 home wins this season set a franchise record, surpassing the previous mark of 54 set in 1978.

"That's very important," Fielder said. "Not that we can't do it on the road, by any means, but everybody knows we play a lot better at home. It's good to have the fans behind you. They get your confidence a little [up]; you can get a little 'swag' before you have to go on the road."

• Manager Ron Roenicke officially named Yovani Gallardo his starter for the opening game of the National League Division Series.

"I'm going to just focus on the game," Gallardo said. "That's the goal. Obviously, it's going to be exciting for all of us, but I just need to do what I've been doing all year."

Worth noting
• Advance parking for all Brewers postseason games is available for purchase only at the Miller Park Box Office. Advance parking is $30 for Preferred and $20 for General. Refunds will be available for passes purchased for games not played.

• The Pirates are 4-37 in their last 41 games at Miller Park. The Brewers lead the season series 11-3. Comments