MILWAUKEE -- Keith Ginter admitted he liked helping beat his former team.
"I actually thank Houston for a chance to play professional baseball and for trading me here where I can get more playing time," said Ginter, who was in the Houston organization for five years. "It does mean a little extra to get a big hit against them."
Ginter's sixth-inning single cut Milwaukee's deficit to 4-3, and his two-run single in the seventh put the Brewers ahead.
"Keith came through with a big hit," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "He's a good fundamental hitter, who makes pitchers work."
Curtis Leskanic (1-0), a 35-year-old right-hander coming back from right shoulder surgery in October 2001, won for the first time in nearly two years. Leskanic pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings of one-hit relief with three walks and one strikeout. It was his first victory since May 15, 2001, at Philadelphia.
Leskanic walked two batters in the eighth, and Luis Vizcaino relieved and walked his first batter, Richard Hidalgo. With the bases loaded and two outs, Luis Vizcaino struck out pinch-hitter Jose Vizcaino.
Mike DeJean pitched a one-hit ninth for his fourth save. The crowd of 10,125 was the smallest at Miller Park, which opened in April 2001.
"I thought Curtis and our other relievers did a great job," Yost said.
Houston led 4-3 in the sixth when Ginter hit a two-run single off Pete Munro (1-1) following a leadoff walk to Podsednik, a two-out intentional walk to Geoff Jenkins and a walk to Clark that loaded the bases.
"You can always use bases-loaded hits," Houston manager Jimy Williams said. "They got a big one today. We'll get ours as the season goes on."
Hidalgo, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell homered for the Astros. Biggio also had two singles.
Houston starter Jeriome Robertson gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. Milwaukee's Ben Sheets allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings.
Robertson forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk in the first, and Clark made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Hidalgo homered in the fourth, and the Astros took a 4-2 lead in the fifth on Biggio's two-run homer and Bagwell's solo shot.
Ginter singled in a run off Robertson in the bottom half.
Notes: Brewers 3B coach Rich Donnelly left in the fourth after feeling faint in the coaching box. He underwent several tests and the team said he was OK. ... Milwaukee CF Alex Sanchez was held out because of a bruised lower right leg. Sanchez fouled a ball off his leg in the eighth inning of Saturday's game. X-rays showed no major injuries, and Sanchez is day to day. ... After playing only NL West and Central opponents, the Astros start a streak of 12 straight games against the East on Tuesday when they play the New York Mets. ... Astros OF Lance Berkman missed his fourth straight game because of a sprained ligament in his left elbow. He is day to day.
The Associated Press News Service
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