Houston at Milwaukee

W: R. Helling (2-0) L: R. Oswalt (17-12)
S: D. Turnbow (31)
HR: HOU - C. Burke (5)   MIL - R. Weeks (13)

Weeks, Brewers slow down NL wild card-leading Astros

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

MILWAUKEE -- Rickie Weeks doesn't always play like a rookie, but his teammates reminded him Sunday that he is one.

Weeks hit a two-run homer and Rick Helling pitched seven strong innings to lead the Milwaukee Brewers over the Houston Astros 4-2.

After the game, Weeks and every other Milwaukee rookie was forced to wear white Hooters tank-tops and tiny black shorts before the Brewers left for their road trip.

"I'm feeling good," Weeks said before putting on his new outfit. "I've been hitting the ball but I couldn't find a hole. Now I guess the holes are finding me."

Houston remained a half-game ahead of Florida in the wild-card race. The Astros, who failed to move a season-high 12 games over .500, begin a four-game series with the Marlins on Monday in Houston.

"It's a wasted opportunity, no question," said Houston manager Phil Garner, knowing that Florida already had lost. "We didn't take (the Brewers) for granted, we just didn't show up offensively."

Helling (2-0) was making his fourth start of the season and picked up his first win as a starter.

He gave up five hits and had a season-high six strikeouts. Derrick Turnbow pitched the ninth for his 31st save in 34 chances.

"That was probably the least amount of curveballs I've thrown in my entire career," Helling said. "I had a pretty good cutter today and I was locating my fastball pretty well, so I stayed with that all day."

Roy Oswalt (17-12) lost for just the sixth time in his last 20 starts. He lasted six innings and gave up eight hits and four runs. He struck out five and walked one.

"I felt OK," Oswalt said. "My command was pretty good. That's the way it goes."

Bill Hall singled off Oswalt with two outs in the fourth before Weeks connected for his 13th homer of the season and first since Aug. 31, giving Milwaukee a 3-0 lead.

"Rickie got a curveball up a little bit and he hammered it," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "It was a big part of the game."

Helling escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third and stranded runners on first and second in the seventh by striking out Brad Ausmus and pinch-hitter Luke Scott, then getting Willy Taveras to ground out.

"He had us in a hole all night," Garner said. "He found the strike zone and he said, `hit it,' and we didn't."

Milwaukee reliever Dana Eveland replaced Helling in the eighth and gave up a home run to Chris Burke on the first pitch he threw.

Jose Vizcaino tripled on Eveland's next pitch and scored on a groundout by Jason Lane.

Milwaukee took a 1-0 lead in the first when Carlos Lee singled home J.J. Hardy with one out. Hall singled and scored the Brewers' final run in the sixth.


  • Astros 3B Morgan Ensberg did not play for the fifth consecutive day after suffering a bruised right hand on Monday.
  • With Milwaukee's run in the first, Houston has allowed 72 runs in the first inning and 72 in the second. The only other inning the Astros have allowed more runs is 86 in the eighth.
  • Oswalt had won 10 of his last 11 decisions in September. Helling's last victory against Houston was June 9, 2001, with Texas.
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Rookie Rickie Weeks is embraced by teammates after his two-run shot in the fourth inning.  (AP)
Rookie Rickie Weeks is embraced by teammates after his two-run shot in the fourth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game

R. Helling
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 3
K 6

R. Weeks
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF3000113 .291
Chris Burke, LF4111024 .244
Jose Vizcaino, 2B4110003 .261
Lance Berkman, 1B4020011 .295
Jason Lane, RF4001011 .256
Mike Lamb, 3B3000112 .211
Adam Everett, SS4010011 .245
Brad Ausmus, C3000112 .259
Roy Oswalt, P2020000 .175
   a- Luke Scott, PH1000012 .162
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
    Mike Gallo, P0000000 .000
    Dan Wheeler, P0000000 .000
   b- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1000000 .299
a-struck out for Oswalt in the 7th
b-flied out for Wheeler in the 9th
2B - Lance Berkman (33, Helling)
3B - Jose Vizcaino (2, Eveland)
HR - Chris Burke (5, Eveland)
RBI - Chris Burke (26), Jason Lane (66)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Gallo-Everett-Berkman
Houston Astros
Roy Oswalt (L,17-12) 6844151 2.93
Russ Springer 1100000 4.70
Mike Gallo 0.2100000 2.65
Dan Wheeler 0.1000000 2.40
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Oswalt 101-74, Russ Springer 23-17, Mike Gallo 5-4, Dan Wheeler 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 7-6, Mike Gallo 1-0, Dan Wheeler 1-0
Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 27, Russ Springer 4, Mike Gallo 2, Dan Wheeler 1
Milwaukee Brewers
Brady Clark, CF4010000 .309
J.J. Hardy, SS3110000 .238
Prince Fielder, 1B3000101 .289
    Dana Eveland, P0000000 .000
    Chris Magruder, RF0000000 .197
Carlos Lee, LF4021001 .274
Geoff Jenkins, RF4000023 .288
    Derrick Turnbow, P0000000 .000
Bill Hall, 3B4230002 .274
Rickie Weeks, 2B4122001 .249
Chad Moeller, C2011000 .208
Rick Helling, P3000032 .000
    Lyle Overbay, 1B0000000 .273
2B - Bill Hall (32, Gallo), Chad Moeller (8, Oswalt)
HR - Rickie Weeks (13, Oswalt)
SH - J.J. Hardy (6), Chad Moeller (2)
RBI - Carlos Lee (103), Rickie Weeks 2 (40), Chad Moeller (16)
2-OUT RBI - Rickie Weeks 2 (15)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Hardy-Weeks
Milwaukee Brewers
Rick Helling (W,2-0) 7500360 2.40
Dana Eveland 1222021 4.10
Derrick Turnbow (S,31) 1000010 1.67
Pitches-Strikes - Rick Helling 98-68, Dana Eveland 19-13, Derrick Turnbow 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rick Helling 3-11, Dana Eveland 1-0
Batters Faced - Rick Helling 28, Dana Eveland 5, Derrick Turnbow 3
Game Information
Attendance - 17392
Game Time - 2:36
Temperature - 90
Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Rick Reed, Second Base - Rob Drake, Third Base - Ted Barrett