Brewers 11, Astros 6

Lorenzo Cain stood in the middle of the clubhouse watching
television with an awe-struck look on his face. The images
engrossing him? Highlights of the rookie’s big day.

Cain drove in the first three runs of his career and Casey
McGehee hit a three-run homer, helping the Brewers beat the Houston
Astros 11-6 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

”That’s nice to get to sit back and watch yourself on TV.
That’s amazing, man,” said Cain, a centerfield prospect delayed
last year because of a knee injury. ”A lot of people don’t get
things like that. I’m going to enjoy it. This is just unbelievable.
I can’t even believe it.”

McGehee drove a ball into the Milwaukee bullpen in left-center
field in the fourth to make it 11-4, after just missing a three-run
homer in the first with an RBI double off the wall.

Cain, who made his first major league start Friday, hit a
sacrifice fly in the first off Wesley Wright (1-2) and chased the
left-hander in his next at-bat in the third with a two-run double
that gave Milwaukee a 6-2 lead.

Both rosters were loaded with young players for two teams out of
postseason contention.

Even though Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart and Ryan
Braun have been regulars for years, no Brewers starter was older
than 28. Braun and Hart are signed long-term, while Fielder and
Weeks can be free agents after 2011.

”Ownership wants to put a great product out there,” manager
Ken Macha said. ”Signing Corey, they’d like to do the same with
Rickie and Prince, but they’ve got Corey and Braunie for a bunch of
years and McGehee is only in his second year, so he’s going to be
here for a while and we’ve got these young guys at the bottom of
the lineup, so yeah, we’ve got some talent here.”

Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo (11-5) allowed four runs on eight
hits in six innings and got a lot of support for the second
straight start. After getting three runs on average in his last 20
appearances, the 24-year-old right-hander has received 24 runs in
the past two games.

Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to 14 games, but it’s
been a disappointing road trip for Houston, which came into this
series one game removed from a seven-game winning streak that
included a sweep of the Brewers at Minute Maid Park. Now, the
Astros will start a 10-game homestand on Monday night against
Atlanta having lost four straight.

”A lot of the games we were in the there until the end and
today we let it get away from us early, especially myself,” Wright
said. ”Terrible location today – probably one of the worst days
for location for me I’ve had so far this year. It was really
unfortunate because I think we had a chance to really win this game
today if I could’ve come close.”

Besides Cain, Milwaukee’s other rookies in the lineup chipped
in, too. Alcides Escobar had an RBI single and Jonathan Lucroy
added a run-scoring double in the third that made it 8-2.

”We’re all trying to establish ourselves,” Cain said. ”We’re
all young players and we’re going out there trying to prove
ourselves, just playing hard.”

The organization likes Cain against left-handed pitchers, but
aren’t yet sold that he can be an everyday player. He’ll certainly
get some more opportunities down the stretch. Macha said Cain would
get a chance during the next series with the Diamondbacks that
starts on Monday.

”I’m going to go out and play hard. Every time my name is
called, I’m going to go try to take advantage of it,” Cain said.
”When my name is in the lineup, I’m going to give the team all I
have.”

Notes: Braun, mired in the worst season of his young career,
slammed his bat down in relief following a two-run single on the
ninth pitch in Milwaukee’s four-run first after battling back from
an 0-2 count. He’s now on an eight-game hitting streak. … Macha
said career saves leader Trevor Hoffman and rookie John Axford
would share the closer’s role the rest of the season. Hoffman, who
signed an $8 million, one-year deal this offseason, is three saves
away from 600 and earned his first in nearly three months Saturday
night, while Axford has converted 16 of 17. … Wright threw 29
balls and 28 strikes, allowing seven runs in 2 1-3 innings. …
Weeks grounded into a rare double play in the second inning – his
second in 526 plate appearances this year.