Milwaukee at Houston

W: B. Sheets (7-1) L: B. Moehler (3-3)
HR: MIL - P. Fielder (11), M. Cameron (9), C. Hart (10), G. Kapler (5)   HOU - M. Tejada (9), D. Erstad (2), M. Loretta (2)

Brewers 9, Astros 6 wire reports

HOUSTON -- Ben Sheets wants to work on his home run trot. He certainly saw a few Thursday, and received some practice as well.

Sheets drew a walk just before Corey Hart hit one of Milwaukee's four home runs in a 9-6 win over the Houston Astros.

While the Brewers brought the offense, Sheets struck out a season-high nine to lead Milwaukee to its ninth win in 12 games. Sheets (7-1) beat Houston for the second time in three starts this season, yielding seven hits and two walks.

"They've got a good hitting lineup," Sheets said, "but I think ours is the premier one in the league."

Hart and Mike Cameron homered for the second consecutive game and Prince Fielder and Gabe Kapler also added home runs. The Brewers hit 10 in the series, reverting to last year's form, when they led the majors with 231 homers.

"What you saw last year," Cameron said, "we've got lots of guys who can do that."

Darin Erstad, Miguel Tejada and Mark Loretta homered for the Astros, who've lost 11 of their last 14 games and five consecutive series. They've slipped under .500 for the first time since May 3 and Houston manager Cecil Cooper blames the pitching.

The Astros have allowed 19 runs in the last two games.

"That won't cut it," Cooper said. "We've got to pitch better. We can't pitch that way."

Tejada gave Houston a 1-0 lead in the first with a solo homer to right, his second in two games. Tejada leads all shortstops with 41 RBI.

The Brewers responded with five runs in the second off Astros starter Brian Moehler (3-3). Fielder led off with his 11th homer and one out later, Cameron lined a home run down the right-field line to put the Brewers up 2-1. Moehler gave up a single and walked Sheets, a .103 hitter, prompting a mound visit from Astros pitching coach Dewey Robinson.

Whatever he said didn't work -- Hart hammered a 3-0 pitch into the Astros bullpen to stretch Milwaukee's lead to 5-1. It was Hart's third homer in two games and 10th for the season.

Sheets may have enjoyed the trip around the bases more than Hart did.

"Yeah, that was big," Sheets said. "I wanted to give it my best home run trot."

Carlos Lee doubled in the second and scored on Michael Bourn's single to make it 5-2. Erstad led off the Astros third with a homer to right, his second of the season, to pull Houston within two.

Sheets allowed only two hits after Erstad's homer.

"He kind of locked in about the third inning," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "He was just kind of raring back and firing in the first two innings. He really started executing with his good stuff from about the middle of the third inning on."

The Brewers loaded the bases for Russell Branyan with one out in the fifth. Branyan hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Craig Counsell for a 6-3 lead. Moehler walked Cameron to load the bases again and Cooper brought in Geoff Geary to relieve.

Geary hit Bill Hall in the shoulder with a pitch, forcing in Ryan Braun to make it 7-3.

"We just can't do that," Cooper said, "and I know we're better than that."

Sheets pitched out of trouble in the sixth and seventh, allowing a double to Lee and then a walk before retiring the next three in the sixth. In the seventh, Sheets gave up a single to Erstad, but struck out Tejada and Lance Berkman to end the inning.

Guillermo Mota started the eighth for Milwaukee and Bourn was safe on an infield single when Fielder dropped the throw from second baseman Hall. Loretta followed with his second home run of the season, pulling the Astros to 7-5.

Kapler, pinch hitting for Mota, hit a solo homer in the ninth off Jose Valverde. Braun added an RBI single later in the inning.

Salomon Torres gave up a run in the ninth, but retired Lee on a grounder for the final out.


Cameron also hit a solo homer in Wednesday's 10-6 victory. He has hit five of his nine this season against Houston at Minute Maid Park. ... The teams combined for 17 home runs in the series. ... The Astros stole three bases, boosting their NL-leading total to 68. Houston stole only 65 bases during the entire 2007 season. ... Sheets has more career victories against Houston (12) than any other opponent. ... Brewers SS J.J. Hardy sat out with a left shoulder injury that he said was minor. Hardy will have the shoulder examined by doctors in Milwaukee on Friday.

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.
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Players of the Game

P. Fielder
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1

D. Erstad
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1

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Milwaukee Brewers
Corey Hart, RF5113020 .300
Craig Counsell, SS5220000 .235
Ryan Braun, LF5121000 .294
Prince Fielder, 1B3121200 .278
Russell Branyan, 3B4001023 .273
Mike Cameron, CF4111113 .220
Bill Hall, 2B3001000 .221
Mike Rivera, C4110003 .333
Ben Sheets, P2100110 .097
    Guillermo Mota, P0000000 .000
   a- Gabe Kapler, PH1111000 .337
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
a-homered for Mota in the 9th
2B - Craig Counsell (7, Valverde)
HR - Corey Hart (10, Moehler), Prince Fielder (11, Moehler), Mike Cameron (9, Moehler), Gabe Kapler (5, Valverde)
SF - Russell Branyan (1)
RBI - Corey Hart 3 (39), Ryan Braun (50), Prince Fielder (34), Russell Branyan (9), Mike Cameron (21), Bill Hall (25), Gabe Kapler (22)
2-OUT RBI - Corey Hart 3 (20), Bill Hall (11)
SB - Ryan Braun 2 (6, 3rd base off Moehler/Quintero, 2nd base off Valverde/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 6
E - Mike Rivera (2, Throwing)
Milwaukee Brewers
Ben Sheets (W,7-1) 7733292 2.72
Guillermo Mota 1222001 4.73
Salomon Torres 1211000 2.68
Pitches-Strikes - Ben Sheets 117-72, Guillermo Mota 19-12, Salomon Torres 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ben Sheets 9-4, Guillermo Mota 1-2, Salomon Torres 3-0
Batters Faced - Ben Sheets 31, Guillermo Mota 5, Salomon Torres 5
Houston Astros
Darin Erstad, RF5231010 .315
Kazuo Matsui, 2B5020011 .281
Miguel Tejada, SS5111023 .302
Lance Berkman, 1B5001023 .366
Carlos Lee, LF4120101 .272
Ty Wigginton, 3B3000103 .276
Michael Bourn, CF4121002 .228
Humberto Quintero, C2000011 .273
   a- Hunter Pence, PH1000012 .284
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .250
    Oscar Villarreal, P0000000 .000
   b- Mark Loretta, PH1112000 .282
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Brian Moehler, P2000011 .000
    Geoff Geary, P0000000 .000
   c- Geoff Blum, PH1000002 .245
    Brad Ausmus, C1000000 .229
a-struck out for Quintero in the 6th
b-homered for Villarreal in the 8th
c-flied out for Geary in the 6th
2B - Carlos Lee 2 (18, Sheets, Sheets)
HR - Darin Erstad (2, Sheets), Miguel Tejada (9, Sheets), Mark Loretta (2, Mota)
RBI - Darin Erstad (14), Miguel Tejada (41), Lance Berkman (57), Michael Bourn (12), Mark Loretta 2 (15)
2-OUT RBI - Miguel Tejada (11), Mark Loretta 2 (8)
SB - Kazuo Matsui (14, 2nd base off Sheets/Rivera), Michael Bourn 2 (26, 2nd base off Sheets/Rivera, 2nd base off Mota/Rivera)
Team LOB - 8
Houston Astros
Brian Moehler (L,3-3) 4.2777313 4.76
Geoff Geary 1.1000020 1.59
Tim Byrdak 1000010 1.37
Oscar Villarreal 1000010 4.60
Jose Valverde 1322111 3.94
IBB - Fielder by Jose Valverde
HBP - Hall (by Geoff Geary)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 86-49, Geoff Geary 20-13, Tim Byrdak 17-13, Oscar Villarreal 12-7, Jose Valverde 25-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 6-7, Geoff Geary 2-0, Jose Valverde 2-0
Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 24, Geoff Geary 5, Tim Byrdak 3, Oscar Villarreal 3, Jose Valverde 7
Game Information
Attendance - 35709
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Angel Campos, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - Paul Schrieber