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Houston at Milwaukee

Scoreboard
Houston (47-56)0003100004140
Milwaukee (60-44) «10100022x670

Hall, Braun come up big, helps vault Brewers into tie for Central lead

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun is not scoreboard watching -- yet. He does know, however, exactly where the Milwaukee Brewers are in the NL Central standings: tied for first place with the Chicago Cubs.

Braun homered and drove in four runs, Bill Hall hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning and the Brewers grabbed a share of the NL Central lead with a 6-4 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday night.

Milwaukee has won nine of 10 to tie the Cubs, who lost 3-2 to the Florida Marlins in 12 innings Saturday.

"It really is pretty incredible to make up five games this quickly," Braun said, alluding to the five-game lead the Cubs had over the Brewers at the All-Star break, just nine games ago.

"The roles are kind of reversed," Braun said. "The pressure is on them this year. All the expectations are on them. We learned a lot last year, the importance and significance of every game and not really focusing on what the Cubs are doing or what the Cardinals are doing, but focusing on ourselves. We've done a good job of that so far."

Eric Gagne (4-2) pitched a perfect eighth to get the win, and Salomon Torres got three outs for his 20th save in 24 chances. Ray Durham doubled twice and scored three runs.

The Brewers tied it with two runs in the seventh and went in front in the eighth. Corey Hart hit Doug Brocail's first pitch of the eighth for a double and Hall followed with a bloop single to right-center on the next offering.

Hall went to second on a balk by Brocail (4-5), and later scored on a groundout by Jason Kendall to make it 6-4.

"I think everybody wants to be up there late in the ballgame and have a chance to do something big for your team," Hall said. "In that situation, I am just trying to get Corey to third because it's a big run for us. I was just trying to hit a ground ball to second base and ended up hitting the bottom half of the ball for it to be a single."

Braun tied it at four with a line-drive, two-run homer in the seventh. It was Braun's 27th of the season and third in his last four games.

Miguel Tejada snapped an 0-for-16 slide with four hits, all singles, for Houston. Lance Berkman had two hits to give him 1,400 for his career.

Astros starter Brandon Backe gave up two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked four.

"I'm pretty happy with what I did, but it's all washed away because of the loss," Backe said.

Dave Bush gave up four runs in five innings for the Brewers in his first start as half of a home-road platoon with Seth McClung. Under the platoon, Bush, who has a 21-12 career mark at Miller Park, will pitch home games, and McClung will pitch on the road.

Durham, making his second start at second base since being acquired from the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, helped Milwaukee get off to a fast start. He doubled in the first and third and scored on Braun sacrifice flies.

Houston took the lead with a three-run third. Tejada hit a leadoff single and scored on Carlos Lee's 23rd homer. Lee extended his hitting streak to 11 games with the drive, and he has reached base in 23 straight.

Hunter Pence added his 13th homer to make it 3-2.

The Astros added another run in the fifth on Berkman's RBI single. The Astros had 14 hits.

"It was a tough night," Houston manager Cecil Cooper said. "I wish we would have chipped in with another run or two. We had some chances to really break the game open."

Instead, it was the Brewers coming back to surge into first place. The Brewers and Cubs open a four-game series Monday at Miller Park.

"It's been nice," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "My focus, and you can focus on it all you want, was to be within striking distance of the Cubs when they came to ukle while sliding to break up a double play in the sixth inning and left the game. He was listed as day to day.

Notes

  • LHP Randy Wolf makes his first start Sunday for the Astros after Houston acquired him from the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.
  • RHP Roy Oswalt (left hip strain) is scheduled to come off the disabled list and start Monday against the Cincinnati Reds. He hasn't pitched since throwing one inning on July 11.
  • The crowd of 43,489 marked the Brewers' 22nd sellout of the season and sixth straight.
 
Copyright 2014 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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No baseball is safe around Ryan Braun, who slams his third home run in four games.   (AP)
No baseball is safe around Ryan Braun, who slams his third home run in four games. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

R. Braun
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
Houston

M. Tejada
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Houston Astros
Kazuo Matsui, 2B5110000 .278
Miguel Tejada, SS4140000 .279
Lance Berkman, 1B4021012 .343
Carlos Lee, LF4112015 .306
Geoff Blum, 3B3010000 .219
    Geoff Geary, P0000000 .000
   a- David Newhan, PH1000000 .241
    Doug Brocail, P0000000 .000
Hunter Pence, RF4121001 .267
Michael Bourn, CF3020000 .231
    Darin Erstad, CF1000000 .274
Humberto Quintero, C3000012 .216
   b- Mark Loretta, PH1010000 .268
Brandon Backe, P2000020 .303
    Ty Wigginton, 3B2000001 .265
Totals37414405  
a-grounded out for Geary in the 8th
b-singled for Quintero in the 9th
Batting
2B - Hunter Pence (21, Mota)
HR - Carlos Lee (23, Bush), Hunter Pence (13, Bush)
RBI - Lance Berkman (76), Carlos Lee 2 (82), Hunter Pence (51)
2-OUT RBI - Lance Berkman (34), Hunter Pence (16)
CS - Michael Bourn (8, 2nd base by Bush/Kendall)
Team LOB - 6
Houston Astros
Brandon Backe 5.1422450 4.73
Geoff Geary 1.2122221 2.76
Doug Brocail (L,4-5) 1222000 3.91
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 91-53, Geoff Geary 44-24, Doug Brocail 18-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Backe 3-7, Geoff Geary 1-2, Doug Brocail 2-1
Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 23, Geoff Geary 8, Doug Brocail 5
Milwaukee Brewers
Ray Durham, 2B3320111 .290
    J.J. Hardy, SS0000000 .299
Craig Counsell, SS-2B3000103 .239
Ryan Braun, LF2114002 .300
Prince Fielder, 1B3000120 .275
Corey Hart, RF3120101 .286
Bill Hall, 3B3111101 .229
Mike Cameron, CF3000023 .228
    David Riske, P0000000 .000
    Eric Gagne, P0000000 .000
   a- Rickie Weeks, PH1000001 .226
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
Jason Kendall, C3011102 .253
Dave Bush, P1000011 .083
   b- Russell Branyan, PH1000001 .244
    Guillermo Mota, P0000000 .000
    Gabe Kapler, CF2000010 .301
Totals2867667  
a-grounded out for Gagne in the 8th
b-flied out for Bush in the 5th
Batting
2B - Ray Durham 2 (25, Backe, Backe), Corey Hart (31, Brocail), Jason Kendall (19, Backe)
HR - Ryan Braun (27, Geary)
SF - Ryan Braun 2 (4)
RBI - Ryan Braun 4 (78), Bill Hall (42), Jason Kendall (28)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Braun 2 (25)
CS - Corey Hart (4, 2nd base by Backe/Quintero)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Counsell-Durham-Fielder, Counsell-Durham-Fielder, Counsell-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Dave Bush 5944052 4.51
Guillermo Mota 1.2400000 5.35
David Riske 0.1000000 4.18
Eric Gagne (W,4-2) 1000000 6.49
Salomon Torres (S,20) 1100000 2.59
Pitches-Strikes - Dave Bush 94-62, Guillermo Mota 28-19, David Riske 2-2, Eric Gagne 10-6, Salomon Torres 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dave Bush 6-2, Guillermo Mota 2-2, Eric Gagne 2-1, Salomon Torres 2-0
Batters Faced - Dave Bush 22, Guillermo Mota 8, David Riske 1, Eric Gagne 3, Salomon Torres 3
Game Information
Attendance - 43489
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Brian Knight