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Houston at Milwaukee

Scoreboard
Houston (48-56) «01007003011161
Milwaukee (60-45)1120010016100

Blum, Astros use seven-run fifth to beat Brewers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Geoff Blum has had little trouble launching breakballs thrown by Jeff Suppan, so the Milwaukee Brewers right-hander peppered him with a steady supply of fastballs on Sunday.

It didn't help Suppan a bit.

Blum hit a pair of Suppan's fastballs for home runs, including a three-run shot that capped a seven-run fifth, and the Houston Astros beat the Milwaukee Brewers 11-6 on Sunday.

Blum was 11-of-21 against Suppan coming into the game, and the Brewers starter changed his strategy against the utility infielder.

"He pitched me completely different than he has in the past," Blum said. "Fortunately, he left a couple over the plate and I connected."

Blum hit a solo home run in the second and a two-out, three-run homer in the fifth that gave Houston an 8-4 lead. He's now batting .542 (13-24) against Suppan.

"That's why he was in there," Houston manager Cecil Cooper said. "You try to match them up as best you can. Sometime it doesn't work out that way, but today it worked well."

The loss dropped the Brewers one game behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. The teams open a four-game series Monday night at Miller Park.

Reliever Chris Sampson (5-3) pitched out of a jam in the bottom of the fifth and was credited with the victory when starter Randy Wolf couldn't go five innings in his first appearance since being obtained in a trade from San Diego.

Sampson pitched 2 2/3 innings, giving up a run and two hits while striking out two.

"The main challenge was preserving the lead for us for the win," Sampson said.

Brad Ausmus went 4-for-4, all singles, with two runs scored and an RBI to lead Houston's season-high 16-hit attack. Miguel Tejada had a pair of singles and three RBI, and the Astros went 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

"That's the one thing we've been missing offensively: we can get guys on but we never seem to bust things open and put teams away," Cooper said. "Today was probably the first time in a long, long time that we've done that."

Milwaukee's Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer in the third to give Milwaukee a 4-1 lead. It was his 28th homer of the year and his eighth in the Brewers' last 20 games.

Houston took the lead for good in the fifth on an RBI single by Ausmus, an RBI groundout by Kaz Matsui and a two-run single by Tejada off the glove of second baseman Rickie Weeks. The play originally was ruled an error by official scorer Tim O'Driscoll, but was changed to a single one inning later.

Lance Berkman followed with a single and Blum hit his second home run of the game and eighth this season to make it 8-4.

"It kind of just snowballed on him in the fifth inning," manager Ned Yost said of Suppan. "He got to two outs and was one pitch away, and then Blum hits a three-run homer."

Suppan continued his July struggles, giving up eight runs and 11 hits in six innings. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 9.43 ERA in four starts this month.

"I kept trying to make pitches and I wasn't really getting them where I wanted them to," Suppan said.

Wolf pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up four runs, three earned, and seven hits with three walks. He struck out three, but was removed in the fifth after throwing 101 pitches and Houston leading 8-4.

"Quite frankly, I was lucky to not give up nine runs with what I had going on," Wolf said.

Sampson entered with Brewers on first and second, but retired Bill Hall and Gabe Kapler to end Milwaukee's threat.

Notes

  • It was Ausmus' first four-hit game since July 31, 2004 at Cincinnati. He has 10 four-hit games in his career.
  • Houston grounded into three double plays in the first seven innings.
  • The Brewers have hit at least one home run in 22 of their past 23 games.
 
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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Geoff Blum (center) gets plenty of love after he gives the Astros four RBI with a pair of home runs.  (AP)
Geoff Blum (center) gets plenty of love after he gives the Astros four RBI with a pair of home runs. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

G. Blum
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 4
Milwaukee

R. Braun
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Houston Astros
Kazuo Matsui, 2B5012011 .277
Miguel Tejada, SS4123001 .281
Lance Berkman, 1B4120100 .344
Carlos Lee, LF5000015 .302
Geoff Blum, 3B5224011 .224
Hunter Pence, RF4220100 .269
Darin Erstad, CF5220011 .278
Brad Ausmus, C4242000 .248
Randy Wolf, P2110001 .162
    Chris Sampson, P0000000 .143
   a- David Newhan, PH0000100 .241
    Chad Paronto, P0000000 .000
Totals3811161134  
a-walked for Sampson in the 8th
Batting
2B - Hunter Pence (22, McClung)
HR - Geoff Blum 2 (8, Suppan, Suppan)
SF - Miguel Tejada (3)
SH - Chris Sampson (3)
RBI - Kazuo Matsui 2 (23), Miguel Tejada 3 (48), Geoff Blum 4 (25), Brad Ausmus 2 (18)
2-OUT RBI - Geoff Blum 3 (13)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Hunter Pence 1
E - Miguel Tejada (8, Throwing)
Houston Astros
Randy Wolf 4.1743331 4.79
Chris Sampson (W,5-3) 2.2211020 4.47
Chad Paronto 2111020 3.48
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wolf 105-63, Chris Sampson 22-23, Chad Paronto 35-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wolf 4-6, Chris Sampson 3-3, Chad Paronto 3-1
Batters Faced - Randy Wolf 23, Chris Sampson 10, Chad Paronto 7
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B4210101 .227
J.J. Hardy, SS5112002 .298
Ryan Braun, LF5132011 .303
Prince Fielder, 1B4001011 .272
Corey Hart, RF3010101 .286
Bill Hall, 3B3110122 .230
Gabe Kapler, CF4000015 .294
Mike Rivera, C4011000 .314
Jeff Suppan, P2010010 .088
   a- Russell Branyan, PH1110000 .250
    Seth McClung, P0000000 .294
   b- Ray Durham, PH1000010 .289
    Brian Shouse, P0000000 .000
Totals36610637  
a-singled for Suppan in the 6th
b-struck out for McClung in the 8th
Batting
2B - Mike Rivera (4, Wolf)
3B - Rickie Weeks (4, Paronto)
HR - Ryan Braun (28, Wolf)
SF - Prince Fielder (8)
RBI - J.J. Hardy 2 (47), Ryan Braun 2 (80), Prince Fielder (59), Mike Rivera (11)
2-OUT RBI - J.J. Hardy (18)
SB - Corey Hart (16, 3rd base off Wolf/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Hall-Hardy-Fielder, Hall-Fielder, Hardy-Weeks-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Jeff Suppan (L,5-7) 61188132 5.04
Seth McClung 2533200 4.35
Brian Shouse 1000010 2.27
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Suppan 91-64, Seth McClung 46-27, Brian Shouse 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Suppan 8-5, Seth McClung 3-2, Brian Shouse 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Suppan 28, Seth McClung 12, Brian Shouse 3
Game Information
Attendance - 41565
Game Time - 3:18
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Hunter Wendelstedt