Houston at Milwaukee

Scoreboard
Houston (56-60)000002000260
Milwaukee (57-58) «81010010x11141

Braun hits two bombs to help Brewers dismantle Astros

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Felipe Lopez's hustle gave the Milwaukee Brewers a badly needed spark.

Lopez outran a play at first base in the first inning and then hit a three-run homer to cap the eight-run opening frame against Wandy Rodriguez, lifting the Brewers to an 11-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.

"Guys pick up on it, everybody got kind of excited," Lopez said. "It was nice."

Ryan Braun added home runs in the first two innings and Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo struck out seven over six innings in what was supposed to be a rematch with Rodriguez, one of the hottest starters in the NL who had won a 2-0 duel Sunday.

"The hustle play by Felipe definitely set the tone, a lot of guys put together some good at-bats, took advantage of every mistake he made and it was nice to get out to a big lead like that and have an easy one," Braun said.

The Brewers jumped on Rodriguez from the start. The left-hander allowed 10 hits and a career-high 10 earned runs and walked five in four innings.

Staked a 10-0 lead, Gallardo (11-9) handcuffed the Astros, losers of 14 of 20, scattering two runs, three hits and three walks to give Milwaukee its second straight win. He also tied a career-high with three RBI.

"It's always good to get an eight-run lead, I'm sure it's what every pitcher wants," Gallardo said.

The Brewers led the NL Central heading into July before six miserable weeks, but remain seven games behind St. Louis in the division. After a major roster shake up Wednesday, they broke out in a big way against Rodriguez (11-7), who had won his previous six decisions and held the Brewers to five hits in seven scoreless innings on Sunday.

But he failed to cover first base in time on Lopez's chopper to Lance Berkman to lead off the game.

"That was a very bad mistake," said Rodriguez, who mentioned a sore left knee kept him from running full speed. "I didn't feel comfortable on the mound. I pitched very good at home, so I don't know what happened."

Lopez, acquired in a trade with Arizona on July 19, had caught Brewers manager Ken Macha's eye for the wrong reasons in the past few days and committed a costly error in Thursday's 12-9 win that forced the Brewers to use closer Trevor Hoffman.

Macha pulled Lopez to the side before the game, and he came out strong against the Astros.

"It probably had no effect, no effect at all," Macha said of his chat. "I've got no effect on him. That comes from within him. He did a good job, set the tone and we wound up with eight runs in that inning."

Astros manager Cecil Cooper was disappointed with Rodriguez's effort.

"If he had just hustled over and gotten that easy out things might have been different. He just couldn't stop the bleeding and they didn't stop until they put that crooked number up," Cooper said. "You don't like to see that."

After an out, Braun homered to make it 2-0, the most runs Rodriguez had allowed in a start since June 26. It got much worse after Prince Fielder looked at strike three for the second out.

Casey McGehee and Mike Rivera walked, Jason Bourgeois drove in his first career run with a single and Gallardo, who also had a sacrifice fly in the fourth, added a two-run double.

Rodriguez walked Alcides Escobar, called up in place of former All-Star shortstop J.J. Hardy, and Lopez homered off the facing of the second deck in left in his second at-bat of the inning to make it 8-0.

Braun homered again, his 25th of the season and third in two days, to lead off the second with Rodriguez letting out a sigh watching the slugger shadow box with Fielder in celebration for the second time.

Gallardo smiled several times with a comfortable lead after he had received an average of 2.3 runs in support over his previous eight starts.

"He deserves it," Braun said. "He deserves a lot of games like this."

Notes

  • Astros 2B Kaz Matsui remains one hit from 2,000 combined in the majors and Japan, which would allow him to join Japan's Meikyukai. According to the official site, to be eligible for the club a Japanese player must have 2,000 combined hits, 200 combined wins or 250 combined saves.
  • Astros 3B Aaron Boone (heart surgery) went 0 for 2 with a walk, an RBI and a run in five innings at Double-A Corpus Christi in his third rehab appearance. He's expected to play consecutive games for the first time Saturday.
  • It was Houston's first visit to Miller Park this season.
 
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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Ryan Braun's bat sends shockwaves at Miller Park. He has 25 homers and is hitting .315. (AP)
Ryan Braun's bat sends shockwaves at Miller Park. He has 25 homers and is hitting .315. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

R. Braun
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 3
Milwaukee

F. Lopez
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF5120023 .290
Miguel Tejada, SS3100113 .316
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .333
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
Lance Berkman, 1B2000210 .275
Carlos Lee, LF3001012 .314
Geoff Blum, 3B3001022 .263
Hunter Pence, RF4010013 .289
Kazuo Matsui, 2B4000021 .245
Humberto Quintero, C4010030 .238
Wandy Rodriguez, P1000000 .091
   a- Darin Erstad, PH1000010 .208
    Sammy Gervacio, P0000000 .000
   b- Jeff Keppinger, PH-SS2020000 .269
Totals32262314  
a-struck out for Rodriguez in the 5th
b-singled for Gervacio in the 7th
Batting
2B - Hunter Pence (18, Gallardo)
SF - Carlos Lee (6), Geoff Blum (5)
RBI - Carlos Lee (74), Geoff Blum (40)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Tejada-Matsui-Berkman
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (L,11-7) 4101010543 3.05
Sammy Gervacio 2200020 0.00
Jeff Fulchino 1211010 3.67
LaTroy Hawkins 1000120 2.22
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 105-64, Sammy Gervacio 26-16, Jeff Fulchino 14-10, LaTroy Hawkins 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 3-5, Sammy Gervacio 3-0, Jeff Fulchino 1-1, LaTroy Hawkins 1-0
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 27, Sammy Gervacio 7, Jeff Fulchino 5, LaTroy Hawkins 4
Milwaukee Brewers
Felipe Lopez, 2B5233011 .305
Mike Cameron, CF5011033 .254
Ryan Braun, LF4223101 .315
Prince Fielder, 1B4010013 .307
   a- Hernan Iribarren, PH-3B1000010 .250
Casey McGehee, 3B-1B4220110 .308
Mike Rivera, C2110301 .246
Jason Bourgeois, RF5111014 .200
Yovani Gallardo, P2113010 .200
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
   b- Frank Catalanotto, PH1110000 .276
    Claudio Vargas, P0000000 .000
    Jesus Colome, P0000000 .000
Alcides Escobar, SS3110102 .286
Totals3611141169  
a-struck out for Fielder in the 8th
b-doubled for Coffey in the 7th
Batting
2B - Mike Rivera (6, Rodriguez), Yovani Gallardo (2, Rodriguez), Frank Catalanotto (3, Fulchino)
HR - Felipe Lopez (7, Rodriguez), Ryan Braun 2 (25, Rodriguez, Rodriguez)
SF - Yovani Gallardo (1)
RBI - Felipe Lopez 3 (37), Mike Cameron (48), Ryan Braun 3 (84), Jason Bourgeois (1), Yovani Gallardo 3 (8)
2-OUT RBI - Felipe Lopez 3 (17), Mike Cameron (15), Jason Bourgeois (1), Yovani Gallardo 2 (5)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Casey McGehee (9, Dropped fly)
Milwaukee Brewers
Yovani Gallardo (W,11-9) 6322370 3.52
Todd Coffey 1200030 2.56
Claudio Vargas 1000030 2.50
Jesus Colome 1100010 7.23
Pitches-Strikes - Yovani Gallardo 105-57, Todd Coffey 17-12, Claudio Vargas 21-14, Jesus Colome 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yovani Gallardo 3-8, Jesus Colome 1-1
Batters Faced - Yovani Gallardo 24, Todd Coffey 5, Claudio Vargas 4, Jesus Colome 4
Game Information
Attendance - 37715
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Tim Welke