The last time the Milwaukee Brewers played in the postseason, shortstop J.J. Hardy was a month old, second baseman Rickie Weeks had been alive only a few weeks and first baseman Prince Fielder was still a glimmer in father Cecil's eye.
If the trio keeps playing this way, the Brewers could find their way back to the playoffs for the first time in 25 years.
Fielder homered for the fourth time in five games, Hardy also homered and extended his hitting streak to 19 games and the red-hot Brewers won their fifth straight, 6-4 over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.
``It never gets old,'' Fielder said. ``We're just trying to keep it going as long as we can.''
The Brewers, with the best record in baseball at 23-10, are firing on all cylinders.
``It's been unbelievable, especially this homestand where we're 8-1,'' said Francisco Cordero, who saved his 14th game in as many chances despite giving up his first run in 15 2-3 innings. ``We're pitching great, we're hitting great, we've got a great defense and we're in first place.''
It's been a long time since the Brewers experienced this level of success. Only their opposition has a longer playoff drought; the Nationals-Montreal Expos haven't been to the postseason since 1981, a year longer than Milwaukee.
Washington has the worst record in baseball at 9-24.
The Brewers ruined the return to the majors of Jason Simontacchi (0-1), who had not appeared in the big leagues since 2004. He spent the entire 2005 season recovering from shoulder surgery and 2006 in the minors.
``I was pretty excited to be finally back up here and again living the dream we've been trying to get to since we were kids,'' said Simontacchi, who went 20-10 with a 4.77 ERA in three seasons with St. Louis. ``It's just the results weren't too good.''
Simontacchi was finished after the sixth, allowing four runs and six hits. He struck out two.
In other NL games, it was: Florida 6, Los Angeles 5; Houston 7, Cincinnati 6; St. Louis 4, Colorado 1; Arizona 3, Philadelphia 2; Pittsburgh 4, Chicago 3, 15 innings; and New York 4, San Francisco 1.
Brewers starter Dave Bush (3-3), responsible for Milwaukee's last two losses, limited the Nationals to three runs in 6 2-3 innings.
Hardy went 2-for-4 with a double and his ninth home run, improving his average to .341. He's batting .418 with eight homers during his 19-game hitting streak.
``Nineteen in a row? Oh yeah, I forgot for a second,'' Hardy said jokingly. ``I'm not a huge fan of it, it's a little bit of added pressure I don't feel I need.''
Marlins 6, Dodgers 5
In Miami, Miguel Cabrera singled home the winning run with one out in the ninth inning for the host Marlins.
Cabrera singled off Jonathan Broxton (1-1), improving his average with runners in scoring position to .423. He also hit his eighth homer for Florida, and Miguel Olivo hit his second.
Henry Owens (2-0) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
Astros 7, Reds 6
In Cincinnati, Lance Berkman's second home run in two nights overshadowed the 568th of Ken Griffey Jr.'s career and lifted Houston to the win.
Trailing 5-4 in the top of the seventh, Berkman lofted an 0-1 pitch from rookie Brad Salmon (0-1) into the seats in left field with Craig Biggio on first base.
Brad Lidge (2-0) got the win, striking out the only batter he faced to end the sixth.
Griffey's homer left him one behind Rafael Palmeiro for ninth place on baseball's career homer list.
Braves 3, Padres 2
In Atlanta, Andruw Jones snapped an 0-for-21 slump with two hits, including an eighth-inning single that drove in the go-ahead run.
San Diego reliever Heath Bell (0-1) couldn't hold a 2-1 lead in the eighth. Edgar Renteria's triple to right-center drove in Kelly Johnson from first to tie it. After an intentional walk to Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones followed with a single to center to give Atlanta the lead.
Mike Gonzalez (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his third save.
Cardinals 4, Rockies 1
Pinch-hitter Scott Spiezio and Adam Kennedy both drove in two runs in a four-run seventh for host St. Louis.
Brad Thompson worked five strong innings in his second major league start. He stepped in for the injured Chris Carpenter, who underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow earlier Tuesday. The team's ace is expected to be out for at least three months.
St. Louis' rally spoiled a dominant outing from the Rockies' Taylor Buchholz, who allowed four hits in six scoreless innings while working on six days' rest.
Jason Isringhausen finished for his ninth save.
Diamondbacks 3, Phillies 2
At Phoenix, Eric Byrnes and Tony Clark hit long home runs for Arizona.
With two outs in the seventh, Clark hit a 457-foot shot off the facing of the loge in right field to break a 2-2 tie. In the second, Byrnes hit a 473-foot homer into a restaurant above the bleachers in left, tying for the second-longest homer in Chase Field's 10-year history.
Chase Utley and Greg Dobbs hit solo homers for the Phillies.
Micah Owings (2-1) went seven innings for Arizona, giving up two runs and five hits. Adam Eaton (3-3) allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings.
Pirates 4, Cubs 3, 15 innings
At Chicago, Jack Wilson hit his first sacrifice fly in the ninth to tie it, then hit a second with the bases loaded in the 15th for Pittsburgh.
Ryan Theriot had three hits and drove in two runs for the Cubs, who lost for the second time in 10 games and had a five-game winning streak snapped.
Neal Cotts (0-1) took the loss for Chicago. Jonah Bayliss (3-2) pitched three scoreless innings of relief for the victory and Salomon Torres worked the 15th for his 10th save.
Mets 4, Giants 1
New York's Tom Glavine earned his 294th win and Barry Bonds hit his 745th home run for host San Francisco.
Bonds, who has 11 homers this season, moved within 10 of Hank Aaron's career record.
Glavine (4-1) allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings. Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his seventh save.
Matt Cain (1-3) lost his second straight start, allowing four runs and a season-high 10 hits in seven innings.

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