For a team with big league-worst 106 losses, the Houston Astros have one accomplishment this season: They eliminated the Milwaukee Brewers from playoff contention.
Jordan Lyles, a 21-year-old who entered with a 1-7 record and 6.95 ERA on the road this season, pitched a four-hitter for his first complete game in 40 career starts and hit his first home run in the Astros' 7-0 victory Sunday.
"It was awesome to finish up this up-and-down season with a pretty good start," Lyles said.
He struck out three and walked one, throwing 64 of 103 pitches for strikes.
"He had a little more fire in his eye," Astros manager Tony DeFrancesco said. "He was aggressive in the zone, had a good breaking ball. That's a real good-hitting team to shut down."
"In my first at-bat he threw me three borderline strikes, and I struck out looking," Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy said. "When a guy is doing that with velocity and movement, you've just got to tip your hat."
Milwaukee, which lost to St. Louis in Game 7 of last year's NL championship series, surged but fell short. The Brewers were 12 games under .500 on Aug. 19, then went 27-12.
But they lost two of three to the last-place Astros.
"For us to come out and get shut out, that was probably the last thing that I thought would happen," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "But Lyles did throw a nice game. He had good movement. I thought we'd come out and play a good series here against Houston, and we didn't."
Houston won a series at Milwaukee for the first time since taking two of three in July 2008.
"We're real excited. It's nice to win the series here," Astros manager Tony DeFrancesco said. "That was our goal -- win two out of three from these guys. And now we go to Chicago and, hopefully, we'll continue to finish strong."
Lyles, Fernando Martinez, Jed Lowrie, and Matt Dominguez hit solo home runs off Michael Fiers (9-10), who gave up five runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out 10 and walked one.
Fiers had gone 1-3 with a 6.97 ERA in his previous five starts.
"It was probably the best I've felt all year," he said. "I just wanted to pound the zone. I was going after guys. I was making them swing the bat. They ran into a couple and they missed a couple. "
Houston hit 11 home runs in three games.
"That's kind of nice to see these guys not quitting," DeFrancesco said.
Tyler Greene put the Astros ahead 1-0 in the third with an RBI double. Martinez homered the next inning.
Lyles, in his second season in the major leagues, helped himself with his homer in the fifth. Lowrie and Dominguez hit consecutive drives in the sixth.
Carlos Corporan added a two-run single in the seventh.
NOTES: The Brewers entered leading the NL in home runs (198) and steals (153). Milwaukee is seeking to become the first team since the 1996 Colorado Rockies to lead its league in both categories. ... With the outside game-time temperature hovering around 60 degrees, the Brewers opted to play the game with the retractable roof closed.