Houston at Milwaukee

W: W. Rodriguez (1-1) L: B. Sheets (1-4)
S: B. Lidge (9)
HR: HOU - M. Ensberg (10), A. Everett (4)   MIL - J. Spivey (4), C. Lee (12), B. Hall (4)

Astros 9, Brewers 6

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

MILWAUKEE -- As he toed the rubber in the first inning, he felt nervous, jittery, even scared.

Not rookie Wandy Rodriguez, ace Ben Sheets.

Rodriguez got his first major league win Saturday night and the Houston Astros ruined the return of Sheets to the Milwaukee rotation with a 9-6 victory over the Brewers.

Sheets (1-4) hadn't pitched since a loss at Houston on April 20 because of an inner ear inflammation called vestibular neuritis that left him dizzy and disoriented, but he showed no ill effects from his 38-day stint on the disabled list. He allowed four runs -- one earned -- and two hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in five innings.

The Astros won for just the fourth time in 26 road games and Rodriguez (1-1) won in his second major league start, thanks to an error on Milwaukee second baseman Junior Spivey that led to a four-run first inning and an uncharacteristically bad outing by the Brewers' bullpen.

Sheets' only mistake was a high fastball that Morgan Ensberg hit over the center field wall for a three-run homer.

"Getting Wandy a little cushion there in the first inning always helps," Houston's Adam Everett said. "Getting four runs off Ben Sheets, that's huge. He's one of the best in the game."

But rusty.

"I hadn't pitched in a big league game in six weeks, so you're not going to be Cy Young out there," Sheets said. "I had a lot of nerves out there tonight. I guess some of it was probably being a little bit scared."

Rodriguez had his own butterflies.

After making his major league debut last week at Wrigley Field following seven seasons in the minors, he allowed four runs and nine hits through six innings against Milwaukee. The left-hander struck out five.

Brad Lidge struck out two of three batters in the ninth for his ninth save in 11 tries.

Sheets was sharp after his shaky start, retiring 12 straight batters before walking the last hitter he faced, Orlando Palmeiro, who was promptly thrown out trying to steal second base.

"I was too foggy to realize stuff like that," Sheets said of his final four hitless frames.

After settling down, however, "it felt like I'd been pitching for the last six weeks," Sheets said.

After Palmeiro led off the game with a walk, Spivey booted Todd Self's grounder, setting up Lance Berkman's RBI single. Ensberg followed with his 10th homer, a three-run shot to center that made it 4-0 - more runs than the Brewers had allowed in their previous four games combined.

The Brewers got one back in their half on Geoff Jenkins' RBI single and another in the fourth when they started the inning with four straight singles, including Bill Hall's run-scoring hit to left. But the rally stalled when Spivey lined out to third on a 2-0 pitch and light-hitting Chad Moeller - Sheets' personal catcher who was hitting just .107 -- grounded softly into an inning-ending double play.

Pinch-hitting for Sheets -- who hasn't won since opening day -- Wes Helms led off the fifth with a double and scored on Brady Clark's double to make it 4-3, but the Astros responded with a five-run sixth when Mike Lamb hit a two-run double off Jorge De La Rosa and Everett hit a three-run homer off Matt Wise.

Spivey hit his fourth homer in the sixth and Carlos Lee hit his 12th in the eighth off Ezequiel Astacio, tying the club record for most home runs in May with nine. Hall also homered off Astacio that inning, making it 9-6.

"Three-run homers will do marvelous things for you," said Astros manager Phil Garner, whose club had been hitting .208 and averaging just 2.5 runs on the road. "Bottom line was big hits at the right time for us."

And the wrong time for Sheets.

Still, he was glad to be back in the rotation.

"My body felt good. My pitches felt crisp. It just felt good to be out there," Sheets said. "It stinks to freaking lose, though."


Brewers 3B Jeff Cirillo left in the seventh with a back strain. ... The nine runs were the most the Brewers had allowed this season. ... With Sheets returning to the rotation, RHP Gary Glover was bumped to the bullpen despite a solid start Wednesday night in which he allowed no earned runs and three hits in six innings against Colorado. Glover (3-3) wasn't as consistent as RHP Wes Obermueller, who pitched so well in place of Sheets that he was named the starter for Tuesday night's game against the Padres.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Players of the Game

B. Hall
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

M. Ensberg
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 1

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June 18, 2017
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Houston Astros
Orlando Palmeiro, CF-LF3100201 .321
Todd Self, RF5100021 .259
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
Jose Vizcaino, 2B5110022 .239
Lance Berkman, LF3211120 .212
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
    Ezequiel Astacio, P0000000 .250
    Jason Lane, RF0000000 .222
Mike Lamb, 1B4122012 .205
Morgan Ensberg, 3B3213111 .284
Adam Everett, SS4113011 .226
Raul Chavez, C3000020 .210
Wandy Rodriguez, P2000110 .250
    Willy Taveras, CF1000012 .250
2B - Jose Vizcaino (6, De La Rosa), Mike Lamb 2 (9, De La Rosa, Phelps)
HR - Morgan Ensberg (10, Sheets), Adam Everett (4, Wise)
RBI - Lance Berkman (5), Mike Lamb 2 (20), Morgan Ensberg 3 (26), Adam Everett 3 (17)
2-OUT RBI - Morgan Ensberg 3 (13)
CS - Orlando Palmeiro (1, 2nd base by Sheets/Moeller)
Team LOB - 3
DP - Ensberg-Vizcaino-Lamb, Vizcaino-Everett-Lamb
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (W,1-1) 6944051 6.17
Chad Qualls 1200000 5.70
Ezequiel Astacio 1222012 10.98
Brad Lidge (S,9) 1000020 3.43
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 104-68, Chad Qualls 12-9, Ezequiel Astacio 14-12, Brad Lidge 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 7-5, Chad Qualls 2-0, Ezequiel Astacio 2-0, Brad Lidge 1-0
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 26, Chad Qualls 4, Ezequiel Astacio 5, Brad Lidge 3
Milwaukee Brewers
Brady Clark, CF5121011 .332
Jeff Cirillo, 3B3000002 .277
    Russell Branyan, 3B2010010 .244
Geoff Jenkins, RF4121002 .266
Carlos Lee, LF4121012 .269
Lyle Overbay, 1B4010011 .297
Bill Hall, SS4122000 .307
Junior Spivey, 2B4111013 .234
Chad Moeller, C4000021 .102
Ben Sheets, P1000010 .000
   a- Wes Helms, PH1110000 .306
    Jorge De La Rosa, P0000000 .000
    Matt Wise, P0000000 .000
   b- J.J. Hardy, PH1010000 .183
    Tommy Phelps, P0000000 .000
   c- Chris Magruder, PH1000000 .256
a-doubled for Sheets in the 5th
b-singled for Wise in the 7th
c-grounded out for Phelps in the 9th
2B - Brady Clark 2 (12, Rodriguez, Rodriguez), Wes Helms (6, Rodriguez)
HR - Carlos Lee (12, Astacio), Bill Hall (4, Astacio), Junior Spivey (4, Rodriguez)
RBI - Brady Clark (23), Geoff Jenkins (18), Carlos Lee (44), Bill Hall 2 (18), Junior Spivey (15)
2-OUT RBI - Junior Spivey (9)
Team LOB - 5
E - Junior Spivey (7, Misplayed grounder)
Milwaukee Brewers
Ben Sheets (L,1-4) 5241291 3.62
Jorge De La Rosa 0.1233100 5.19
Matt Wise 1.2122231 1.85
Tommy Phelps 2100010 3.29
IBB - Berkman by Jorge De La Rosa
HBP - Chavez (by Tommy Phelps)
WP - Jorge De La Rosa (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Ben Sheets 81-54, Jorge De La Rosa 18-10, Matt Wise 36-22, Tommy Phelps 33-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ben Sheets 3-3, Jorge De La Rosa 1-0, Matt Wise 1-1, Tommy Phelps 4-1
Batters Faced - Ben Sheets 19, Jorge De La Rosa 4, Matt Wise 8, Tommy Phelps 8
Game Information
Attendance - 37845
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Joe Brinkman, First Base - Derryl Cousins, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Bill Miller