Brewers 6, Astros 5
Ryan Braun shared a comment with Ron Roenicke in the dugout that
made the Milwaukee Brewers manager feel pretty good about his
slugging left fielder.
Braun broke out of his slump with three hits including a homer,
Zack Greinke remained unbeaten at Miller Park and the Brewers held
off the Houston Astros 6-5 on Monday night.
”Ryan looks good,” Roenicke said. ”After the first at-bat, he
got the base hit the other way, he came back (to the dugout). He
said something to me.”
While Roenicke wouldn’t divulge what that quick conversation
was, but he smiled while talking about it.
”I knew,” Roenicke said. ”I knew he was feeling good.”
Braun, who came in on a 2-for-20 slump, singled in a run in the
first, hit a solo homer in the fifth – his third homer of the year
– and doubled in the seventh.
Greinke was also feeling pretty good despite throwing a
season-high 115 pitches.
”It was a good game all around,” he said. ”It was fun. Made a
bunch of good pitches. Team played a really good game.”
Greinke (2-1) struck out a season-high nine in six solid innings
to improve to 13-0 at home with Milwaukee, which won its 10th
straight against the Astros.
Greinke was slightly critical of himself, even though he won his
first career start at Miller Park against the Astros and kept his
In the Houston fifth, after consecutive singles put runners at
the corners with nobody out, Greinke struck out Jed Lowrie and J.D.
Martinez. Carlos Lee singled to load the bases. Greinke walked
Brian Bogusevic to force in a run, then fanned Chris Johnson to end
”I feel like I really struggled with guys on base,” he said.
”So, it was really nice to be able to get out of some jams. It
definitely wasn’t easy out there today.”
Greinke allowed eight hits. He walked two but had those three
big strikeouts in the fifth when he worked out of a jam.
Since joining the Brewers, the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner is
13-0 in 18 starts at Miller Park – the longest home winning streak
in the majors.
With the victory, Greinke improved to 3-0 overall against the
Astros. He was unbeaten in two starts at Houston last season.
Greinke handed Jose Veras a 6-2 lead to start the seventh, but
five of the next six Astros batters reached base. Houston scored
three runs on four hits, including Brian Bogusevic’s two-run
triple, before Veras struck out Jose Altuve and got pinch-hitter
Matt Downs to ground out to end the inning.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and John Axford
earned his 46th consecutive save – third this season – with a
Lucas Harrell (1-1) took the loss in his first start at
Milwaukee and second against Greinke.
Harrell allowed five runs and five hits in five innings.
He said that he got behind a lot today.
”That’s something I’ve been working on and it didn’t really
work out today,” he said. ”I got behind a lot and my walks really
hurt me. It was just one of those days where I tried to
The 26-year-old right-hander’s first career start against the
Brewers came Sept. 2 at Minute Maid Park. He went 5 1-3 shutout
innings but eventually lost 8-2 to Milwaukee and Greinke, who
allowed nine hits and two runs in six innings.
Brandon Lyon took over for Harrell to start the sixth. The first
five batters reached base, but the Brewers could only push across
one run on a wild pitch.
It could have been worse for Lyon, but Lee and catcher Jason
Castro stopped the threat.
With one out and the bases loaded, Rickie Weeks fouled out to
Carlos Lee, who caught the ball with his back to the plate. The
first baseman turned and fired a strike to Castro, who was blocking
the plate. Mat Gamel plowed into him with his left shoulder in a
rough collision at the plate, but Castro hung onto the ball to end
”Carlos did a good job of turning around on the one-hop to
him,” Astros manager Brad Mills said. ”Jason did a good job of
grabbing the ball.”
And, hanging on to it.
The Astros went ahead in the first on Lowrie’s first homer of
the season, but the lead didn’t last long. Milwaukee moved in front
in the bottom half as Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart each
drove in a run.
Norichika Aoki, who started in center for the slumping Nyjer
Morgan, walked, went to second on wild pitch and easily scored on
Braun’s single. Braun came home on Ramirez’s triple. Hart drove in
Ramirez with a sacrifice fly.
Gamel tacked on a run for Milwaukee with a sacrifice fly in the
Jordan Schafer doubled in the third and has reached base safely
in all 17 games, the longest stretch by an Astros player at the
start of a season since Craig Biggio began 2000 with a 17-game
NOTES: Greinke also beat the Astros 2-1 in Houston on June 23,
2009, with Kansas City. … Lowrie’s home run was the first allowed
by Greinke in 18 innings this season. … Schafer, whose grand slam
helped the Astros rout the Los Angeles Dodgers 12-0 on Sunday, had
a tough first at-bat. He fouled a 90 mph fastball off his inner
right calf in the first and then spent several minutes walking off
the pain. He stayed in the game and doubled the next time he was