MILWAUKEE -- CC Sabathia is apparently not the only Brewer who can work on short rest.
Center fielder Mike Cameron played a key role in Game 3 of the National League Division Series on Saturday after two sleep-deprived nights and an unexpected trip home to Atlanta, where his wife, LaBreka, underwent an emergency C-section on Friday.
He appeared no worse for the wear. Cameron reached base safely four times and scored two Brewers runs in their 4-1 win over the Phillies, cutting Milwaukee's deficit in the best-of-five series to 2-1.
"Turned out it was a good day," Cameron said.
Two good days. Doctors delivered a healthy baby girl, Lilo, at about 2:54 p.m. ET on Friday, minutes before a flight chartered by Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio carried Cameron into Atlanta. After getting news that mother and daughter -- 4 pounds, 13 ounces and 17 inches long, just for the record -- were in good health, Cameron did not mind that he missed the moment of birth.
LaBreka Cameron was not due to give birth until the first week of November.
"I have no idea why it happened so early, but it did and it's a blessing," Mike Cameron said Saturday before Game 3. "I'm in awe about it a little bit."
The Camerons have three other children: a daughter, T'aja, and sons Dazmon and Mekhi. The three older kids had a say in choosing Lilo's name, then traveled with Dad back to Milwaukee to give Mom an opportunity to rest.
That little Lilo chose to enter the world Friday came as a stroke of luck for the Brewers, who had an off-day after falling behind the Phillies in the series, two games to none. Had Cameron been forced to leave the team on a game day, the Brewers either would have had to play a man short or replace him on the NLDS roster with another player, leaving Cameron ineligible for a potential National League Championship Series.
In the regular season, players can be placed on the bereavement list in the event of a family emergency. There is no such thing in the postseason.
CAMERON HEATS UP
Sept. 1-Oct 2:
NLDS Game 3: 1-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB, HBP
"I don't think it's ever come up, to be honest with you," Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said. "Or, if it has, I am not aware of it."
Cameron, 0-for-7 in the series entering Game 3 but in his usual leadoff spot against Phillies left-hander Jamie Moyer, set an early tone for the Brewers. Cameron worked a walk in the bottom of the first inning and so did third baseman Bill Hall, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch before Prince Fielder lifted a sacrifice fly. J.J. Hardy then laced an RBI single for a quick 2-0 lead.
Cameron also walked in the second inning, was hit by a pitch and scored in the fifth and singled in the sixth, when the Brewers loaded the bases but couldn't push across another insurance run.
"It was probably good I was tired," Cameron said. "It allowed me to relax a little more, I think. I'll get a little sleep, come back [Sunday] and try to get on the board again."
Game 4 of the series is scheduled for noon CT on Sunday.
"We didn't play well in the first two games at their place, but it was all about the energy here today," Cameron said. "That's what we were looking for and we were able to feed on it. We got something going early for a change and were finally able to put some pressure on their team."
The Brewers will find themselves in a similar spot Sunday, when they once again face elimination.
Cameron has no interest in watching the Phillies celebrate a League Championship Series berth. He's eyeing another Brewers win, which would push the series back to Philadelphia for a decisive Game 5.
"You don't want them to be celebrating on your own field," Cameron said. "That's always in the back of your mind."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.