Brewers 5, Astros 2

Trevor Hoffman was back in his familiar role – closer.

Hoffman got the final three outs for his sixth save of the
season and first in three months as Milwaukee beat the Houston
Astros 5-2 on Saturday night.

It was the 597th of his long career and he is now three short of
his goal of 600 career saves.

”It was nice to preserve a win for the ball club,” said
Hoffman, whose appearance was preceded by his traditional ”Hell’s
Bells” song, which brought the Miller Park crowd to its feet.
”There were a lot of emotions out there, just hearing the song. I
am very thankful for everyone’s support during a personal struggle
of trying to get back out there.”

Brewers players were on the top steps of the dugout during
Hoffman’s scoreless ninth inning and mobbed him afterwards.

”I had goose bumps when they played the song,” said pitcher
Todd Coffey. ”It was such a great experience and everyone wanted
it to happen for Hoffman.”

Hoffman was removed from the closer’s role in May after blowing
five saves. He has spent the last three months working his way back
and has pitched strong in recent outings.

”I don’t think this would have happened had I folded up the
tent and gone home,” he said.

Brewers manager Ken Macha said he has been very impressed with
how Hoffman has handled himself the past thee months.

”I really give him a lot of credit,” Macha said. ”I’m just
glad we were able to get him a little closer to where he wants to
go.”

Macha would not say if he would use Hoffman in the next save
opportunity as John Axford has converted 16 of 17 save chances in
his place.

Rickie Weeks’ home run was his first professional
inside-the-park home run. He said he knew he had a chance when he
saw the ball bound away from Astros center fielder Jason Bourgeois.
By the time Bourgeois got to the ball, Weeks was rounding third and
he beat the throw home.

It was Weeks’ 23rd home run of the season and the seventh time
this year that he had led off the game with a home run, which set a
Brewers’ team record.

”It was a great way to start the game,” he said.

Randy Wolf (8-9), who was forced to leave his last start on
Sunday against the Astros in the seventh inning when he was hit on
the wrist by a ball hit by Hunter Pence, got the victory. He gave
up two runs on nine hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Kameron Loe got the final out of the seventh inning. Loe, Zach
Braddock and Todd Coffey combined to pitch a scoreless eighth
inning. Trevor Hoffman pitched a scoreless ninth inning to get his
sixth save of the season in 11 chances. It was his first save since
May 7 against Arizona and the 597 of his career.

Brett Myers (8-7) took the loss for the Astros as he gave up
four runs on seven hits in six innings. It was the Astros third
straight loss after putting together a seven-game winning
streak.

By going at least six innings, Myers extended his franchise
record for consecutive 6-plus innings starts to begin a season to
23, which is tops in the Major Leagues in 2010. The last pitcher to
start the season with at least 23 starts of six innings or more was
Curt Schilling, who had 35 straight in 2002 with Arizona.

Myers said he is not paying attention to the streak, but was
frustrated with the way he pitched in the first and sixth innings
as he gave up four total runs.

”The thing that I’m frustrated is when you make good pitches
you’re supposed to get outs,” he said.”

Astros manager Brad Mills said Myers gave the Astros a chance to
stay in the game.

”I say it every time, he’s been unbelievable all year long,”
he said.

NOTES: Pence’s fifth inning single extended his hitting streak
to 13 straight games. It is his longest streak since he also had a
13-game hitting streak in August 2008. … Brewers manager Ken
Macha recorded his 500th career win. Overall, he has 500-421
record. … Hoffman’s appearance tied him with Jose Mesa and Less
Smith for the ninth most games pitched in Major League Baseball
history with 1,022.