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Milwaukee at Houston

Scoreboard
Milwaukee (25-14) «000202000460
Houston (17-20)100010000280

Brewers double up Astros, run win streak to seven

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- The Milwaukee Brewers have a winning formula working early in the season.

Dave Bush pitched six solid innings to remain unbeaten and Trevor Hoffman earned his 10th save, leading the Brewers over the Houston Astros 4-2 on Tuesday night for their seventh straight victory.

J.J. Hardy drove in two runs for Milwaukee and Prince Fielder had an RBI and two runs scored. Bush (3-0) allowed two runs and seven hits for the NL Central leaders, who have won 13 of 15 to turn around a 4-9 start.

"We don't talk about it," said Bush, who threw 84 pitches. "We know we have a solid team. We knew that at the beginning of the year, when we weren't playing very well."

Hoffman set down the Astros in order in the ninth to improve to 10-for-10 on save chances with his new team. Carlos Villanueva and Todd Coffey pitched scoreless innings before Hoffman wrapped it up.

The Brewers' bullpen came in with a 3.67 ERA, second-best in the NL.

"There's no hesitation at all to give it up and let those guys finish it out," Bush said.

The Astros got eight hits but scored their runs in unusual ways -- Kaz Matsui stole home while teammate Michael Bourn was in a rundown, and relief pitcher Russ Ortiz hit an unlikely homer.

Ortiz (2-2) gave up two runs in the sixth after replacing Mike Hampton, who left after four innings with a cut on his left thumb.

Hampton said he hurt the finger on a soap dispenser in a shower during the team's trip to Chicago last weekend. He said the injury affected his grip in Tuesday's start.

"I kind of glued the wound shut," Hampton said. "And then it opened up after the first [inning], and it just never got any better. I didn't have a whole lot of feel for any of my pitches."

Matsui became the latest player to swipe home in the first inning, five days after Bourn did it in Colorado on the front end of a double steal.

The Houston second baseman led off with a double and advanced to third on Bourn's bunt single. With slugger Lance Berkman at the plate, Bush made a pickoff throw to first that caught Bourn leaning toward second, putting him in a rundown.

Matsui dashed to the plate and scored without a throw as the speedy Bourn scampered between first and second. After a couple of throws by the Brewers, Bourn dove safely back to first.

"It's something that just happened to happen," Bourn said. "When I saw him break for home, I did what I could to stay alive after that."

Fielder tied it with an RBI double in the fourth after Ryan Braun led off with a walk against Hampton.

Braun rounded third on Fielder's drive to the left-field corner, despite a stop sign from third-base coach Brad Fischer. Shortstop Miguel Tejada took the relay, then hesitated as Braun pulled up a few strides from home. But Braun decided to break for the plate and Tejada's late throw was off target.

Hardy's RBI single scored Fielder to give Milwaukee a 2-1 lead.

Hampton departed after throwing a season-low 60 pitches. Ortiz retired the side, then led off the Astros fifth with a tying homer to left, the seventh of his career.

Braun and Fielder walked leading off the sixth and Braun scored on Hardy's bloop single to right. Fielder trotted home on Casey McGehee's sacrifice fly for a 4-2 lead.

Macha called the offensive output "workmanlike," and the Brewers were certainly efficient -- five hitters walked and three of them scored.

Astros reliever Jeff Fulchino shut out the Brewers over the final three innings.

Notes

  • Coffey has not allowed a run in 14 of 18 appearances this season.
  • Ortiz last homered on July 29, 2003, against Houston's Roy Oswalt. It was the first home run by a Houston pitcher since Aug. 1, 2008, when Brandon Backe hit one off the New York Mets' Pedro Martinez.
  • The Brewers placed second baseman Rickie Weeks, out for the rest of the season with a wrist injury, on the 15-day disabled list and recalled second baseman Hernan Iribarren from the minors. RF Corey Hart took the top spot in the batting order, but Macha hasn't settled on a leadoff man for the long term. "We have to try to figure that out," he said.
 
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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J.J. Hardy, Corey Hart and the Brewers have won 13 of 15 and seven in a row. (AP)
J.J. Hardy, Corey Hart and the Brewers have won 13 of 15 and seven in a row. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

J. Hardy
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Houston

H. Pence
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Milwaukee Brewers
Corey Hart, RF4000003 .241
Bill Hall, 3B4010023 .259
Ryan Braun, LF2200201 .323
Prince Fielder, 1B3211110 .273
Mike Cameron, CF4000023 .276
J.J. Hardy, SS4022000 .229
Mike Rivera, C4010001 .350
Casey McGehee, 2B2001100 .167
Dave Bush, P2010112 .167
    Carlos Villanueva, P0000000 .500
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
   a- Mat Gamel, PH1000000 .200
    Trevor Hoffman, P0000000 .000
Totals3046456  
a-flied out for Coffey in the 9th
Batting
2B - Prince Fielder (7, Hampton)
SF - Casey McGehee (1)
RBI - Prince Fielder (37), J.J. Hardy 2 (23), Casey McGehee (1)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Hall-McGehee-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Dave Bush (W,3-0) 6722121 3.74
Carlos Villanueva (H,6) 1000020 4.50
Todd Coffey (H,6) 1100010 3.10
Trevor Hoffman (S,10) 1000000 0.00
HBP - Lee (by Dave Bush), Tejada (by Dave Bush)
Pitches-Strikes - Dave Bush 84-51, Carlos Villanueva 10-9, Todd Coffey 11-9, Trevor Hoffman 8-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dave Bush 7-8, Carlos Villanueva 1-0
Batters Faced - Dave Bush 27, Carlos Villanueva 3, Todd Coffey 4, Trevor Hoffman 3
Houston Astros
Kazuo Matsui, 2B5110000 .236
Michael Bourn, CF4020010 .304
Lance Berkman, 1B3000111 .224
Carlos Lee, LF3000012 .324
Miguel Tejada, SS3010001 .318
Hunter Pence, RF4030000 .336
Geoff Blum, 3B4000016 .259
Ivan Rodriguez, C4000015 .276
Mike Hampton, P1000000 .333
    Russ Ortiz, P1111000 .222
   a- Darin Erstad, PH1000002 .163
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .000
   b- Jason Michaels, PH1000000 .200
Totals3428115  
a-flied out for Ortiz in the 6th
b-popped out for Fulchino in the 9th
Batting
2B - Kazuo Matsui (5, Bush), Michael Bourn (7, Bush)
HR - Russ Ortiz (1, Bush)
RBI - Russ Ortiz (2)
SB - Kazuo Matsui (6, off Bush/Rivera)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Blum-Matsui-Berkman, Blum-Matsui-Berkman
Houston Astros
Mike Hampton 4322340 5.23
Russ Ortiz (L,2-2) 2322220 5.81
Jeff Fulchino 3000000 4.61
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Hampton 60-31, Russ Ortiz 46-25, Jeff Fulchino 35-25
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Hampton 2-4, Russ Ortiz 1-3, Jeff Fulchino 5-4
Batters Faced - Mike Hampton 16, Russ Ortiz 11, Jeff Fulchino 9
Game Information
Attendance - 29343
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Delfin Colon, Third Base - Mike Reilly