Brewers get 5-3 win over Astros in 10 innings
Corey Hart's full-count grounder puts Milwaukee on top
HOUSTON — The Houston Astros had a great first inning on Sunday.
They couldn’t do much of anything after that, though, and lost 5-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers in 10 innings.
Houston led 3-0 after one, but Corey Hart drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the 10th inning to complete the rally, and Rickie Weeks’ third hit added an insurance run in the victory that wrapped up the first half of the season for both teams.
“We just could not get anything started,” Houston manager Brad Mills said. “That was the biggest thing.”
Nyjer Morgan walked to start the 10th and Fernando Rodriguez (1-8) intentionally walked Braun before a wild pitch moved the pair over.
Rodriguez walked Aramis Ramirez to load the bases before Hart’s full-count grounder put Milwaukee on top. Weeks, who homered in the second, singled in the 10th.
Ryan Braun’s RBI single tied it at 3 in the eighth and got Zack Greinke off the hook after he allowed three runs in the first as he started for the second straight day.
Manny Parra (1-3) pitched a perfect ninth for the win and John Axford allowed two hits in a scoreless 10th for his 15th save.
“We tried to hold them off there in the 10th,” Mills said. “And then when we came up later in the inning, we had some opportunities. We just needed to spread it out a little bit more, but we just could not get it done.”
Greinke threw just four pitches Saturday before he was ejected after spiking the ball following a close play at first base during a 6-3 loss at Houston. So the Brewers gave him another shot on Sunday.
Greinke is the first pitcher in the majors to start consecutive games since C.J. Wilson of the Angels on May 11-12.
The last Brewers pitcher to start consecutive games was CC Sabathia, who started the game before and after the All-Star break in 2008.
Greinke also is scheduled to start Milwaukee’s first game after the break on Friday. That would make him the first pitcher to start three straight games in one season since Red Faber for the Chicago White Sox in 1917, according to stats provided by the Brewers from the Elias Sports Bureau.
Much like the day before, things went wrong quickly on Sunday for the 2009 AL Cy Young winner.
The Astros collected four hits in the first inning but managed only three the rest of the game.
Greinke settled down after the first to pitch two scoreless innings before being replaced by Marco Estrada, who was originally scheduled to start Sunday. Greinke allowed five hits and three runs with five strikeouts.
The solo homer by Weeks in the second inning gave him two in the last three games.
Houston starter Jordan Lyles retired 10 straight before Braun doubled to start the sixth. Ramirez sent him home with a single to center field to cut Houston’s lead to 3-2.
Lyles yielded just six hits and two runs in seven innings to bounce back from his last start where he allowed nine hits and seven runs in four innings of an 11-2 loss to Pittsburgh.
“I am just glad I was able to give my team a chance to win,” Lyles said. “Last outing, I didn’t today I did, but we just didn’t get it done today.”
Scott Moore extended his hitting streak to a career-high nine games with a two-out single in the second inning. But the Astros offense went cold after that, and Houston didn’t get another baserunner until Jed Lowrie walked to start the bottom of the sixth.
The Brewers still faced the minimum in that inning thanks to a double play, and relievers Jose Veras, Francisco Rodriguez and Parra shut down Houston for the next three innings. Jordan Schafer led off with a single and scored on a double by Jose Altuve. A wild pitch followed before Greinke got the first out. J.D. Martinez pushed the lead to 2-0 with a run-scoring single before a two-out single by Chris Johnson.
Brian Bogusevic walked before a bases-loaded walk by Chris Snyder sent another runner home.
He finally got out of the inning by striking out Lyles on his 39th pitch.
NOTES: Milwaukee optioned INF Taylor Green to Triple-A Nashville … Houston optioned INF Matt Dominguez to Triple-A Oklahoma City. … Houston OF Justin Maxwell, on the DL with an injured left ankle, went 1 for 4 in his second rehabilitation start for Oklahoma City on Saturday night and Mills expects him to come off the DL on Friday. … Houston reliever Wilton Lopez, on the DL with a sprained right elbow, pitched one inning in his second rehabilitation start for Oklahoma City on Saturday night.