MILWAUKEE -- Dave Bush took care of the offense himself Saturday night with the biggest hit of the game.
Bush (9-9) allowed four runs and eight hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
"Bushy pitched a good game," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "To get us into the eighth inning was a great job."
Francisco Cordero, who has not allowed a run since being acquired July 28 from Texas in the Carlos Lee deal, recorded the final four outs for his ninth save.
The Brewers broke a third-place tie with Houston in the NL Central and trail wild-card leading Cincinnati by four games.
Houston's Willy Taveras extended his hitting streak to 22 games in the first with a single and scored the game's first run on a ground out by Mike Lamb.
Bush's single down the right-field line was one of only two hits in the four-run fourth inning for the Brewers.
"He's been 'raking' lately," Brewers shortstop Bill Hall said. "I was surpassed they got him out (tonight). Bases loaded, that was a big hit."
Wandy Rodriguez (9-7), recalled from Triple-A by Houston to fill in for All-Star starter Roy Oswalt, retired the first batter then walked the bases loaded. Corey Hart followed with a run-scoring single to right to tie the game 1-1.
David Bell walked to force in a run and Damian Miller struck out. But Rodriguez couldn't get Bush, who leads the Brewers' pitchers with seven RBI and is hitting .184.
"Those are situations I can help myself," Bush said. "Those two runs were the difference in the game."
Rodriguez allowed three hits, walked four and struck out four in 3 2/3 innings.
"He lost control," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "He couldn't throw the ball over the plate."
Houston scored a run in the fifth inning on Taveras' RBI double to right field. Taveras was thrown out at third base, trying to stretch the double into a triple. Taveras went 2-for-4 and stole two bases.
Milwaukee answered in the sixth inning when Brad Lidge walked Hall with bases loaded to make it 5-2. Houston pitchers walked a season-high 11 and hit two batters.
"When they (pitchers) have an off night, we have to do a better job on offense," Lamb said. "They've picked us up and we have to do it too."
Eric Munson's fifth homer of the season made it 5-3 in the eighth and ended Bush's night. Bush threw just 85 pitches.
"I used my change-up more today," Bush said. "I threw one there. Not a very good pitch. Aggravating way to end the day."
Jose Capellan relieved and allowed Lamb's RBI single to make it 5-4.
Prince Fielder provided an insurance run for Milwaukee with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth.
The Astros placed RHP Brandon Backe on the 15-day disabled list with a right ulnar collateral ligament sprain. Oswalt was scratched from his start after bruising his right hand Aug. 14 against the Chicago Cubs. ... Taveras' hitting streak is the longest for the Astros since Jeff Kent had a 25-game hitting streak in 2004. ... Astros RHP Fernando Nieve left the game after the fifth inning with a right elbow strain. He pitched one inning. ... Bush has allowed one walk in his last five appearances (27 innings).