|Houston (31-48) «||0||0||0||1||0||1||3||0||0||5||8||1|
MILWAUKEE -- Chris Johnson starred during spring training before his fast start was derailed by an early-season injury.
Now, he appears to be back from the minor leagues for good.
"To watch C.J. put up with some of the stuff he's had to, and not gotten upset, he came up here and took advantage of the opportunity," said Geoff Blum, who went 2 for 2 with two walks and three runs scored. "It's fun to watch."
Johnson led the Grapefruit League with eight home runs and 22 RBI, and made the Astros out of spring training. He strained a right intercostal muscle and was placed on the disabled list on April 20. He was then sent to Triple-A Round Rock when he recovered in May.
He batted .329 with 10 doubles, eight home runs and 33 RBI in 38 games at Round Rock, and was recalled by the Astros on June 22.
Since then, he has gone 12 for 29 (.414) with three doubles and six RBI in seven starts at third base.
"I try and do the same thing I did there [in Triple A]," he said. "That's what got me here. I'm trying to stay within myself and take whatever the pitcher gives me. It's working out."
The Astros got a strong start from Wandy Rodriguez, who gave up only one run in seven innings and executed a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to snap a tie in the sixth inning.
"I had good command of my fastball and my breaking ball, too," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez (5-10) won his second consecutive start after a stretch in which he lost six of seven. The left-hander held the Brewers to 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position, giving up one run and seven hits. He struck out six and issued one intentional walk.
"He got into key situations where he really beared down and made some good pitches, and was able to get out of some key spots," Astros catcher Jason Castro said.
"That's a prime example of him kind of stepping up and not letting anything get to him, and really focusing on his pitches," Castro said. "He did a great job."
Dave Bush (3-6) gave up two runs and six hits in six innings. One run scored on a wild pitch and the other came in on Rodriguez's squeeze. The right-hander walked five and struck out three.
Blum opened the sixth with a walk off Bush. Johnson's single moved him to second, and Castro's fielder's choice sent him to third with one out.
Blum then took off for home on Bush's first pitch to Rodriguez, who put down a precise bunt midway between the plate and the mound. Blum scored without a play to give Houston a 2-1 lead.
The Astros scored three more runs in the seventh to break open the game. Jeff Keppinger and Lance Berkman both doubled off Carlos Villanueva to start the inning and make it 3-1. Two outs later, Blum walked. Johnson's double off the left-field wall then scored Berkman and Blum to stretch the lead to 5-1.
Villanueva generally pitches in close games, but he has given up seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings over his last five appearances. Milwaukee manager Ken Macha said he would consider moving rarely used left-hander Chris Capuano into Villanueva's role.
"Villa, pitching the way he is lately, we've got to take a look a little more at what Cappy can do for us out of the bullpen," Macha said.
Milwaukee scored its only run in the second on Jonathan Lucroy's groundout to shortstop that brought in Braun and put the Brewers ahead 1-0.
"We had a couple of chances to score, but we didn't get 'er done," Macha said.
Houston tied it in the fourth when Blum scored on Bush's wild pitch.
Compounding their inability to advance runners, the Brewers also made three outs on the bases. Casey McGehee was called out twice at third by umpire Brian Gorman, with both calls being argued by Macha. Lucroy was also thrown out while trying to steal second.
|Players of the Game|
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|Michael Bourn, CF||4||0||0||0||1||1||2||.265|
|Jeff Keppinger, 2B||5||1||1||0||0||0||4||.273|
|Lance Berkman, 1B||3||1||1||1||2||1||1||.249|
|Carlos Lee, LF||5||0||0||0||0||1||3||.234|
|Hunter Pence, RF||5||0||0||0||0||1||1||.260|
|Geoff Blum, SS||2||3||2||0||2||0||0||.246|
|Oswaldo Navarro, SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.067|
|Chris Johnson, 3B||4||0||4||2||0||0||0||.333|
|Jason Castro, C||3||0||0||0||1||1||4||.231|
|Wandy Rodriguez, P||2||0||0||1||0||1||5||.241|
|a- Jason Bourgeois, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.313|
|Brandon Lyon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Matt Lindstrom, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-walked for Rodriguez in the 8th|
|2B - Jeff Keppinger (21, Villanueva), Lance Berkman (15, Villanueva), Geoff Blum (7, Bush), Chris Johnson (3, Villanueva)|
|SH - Wandy Rodriguez (3)|
|RBI - Lance Berkman (35), Chris Johnson 2 (8), Wandy Rodriguez (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - Chris Johnson 2 (6)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|E - Geoff Blum (6, Misplayed grounder)|
|Wandy Rodriguez (W,5-10)||7||7||1||1||1||6||0||5.30|
|IBB - Escobar by Wandy Rodriguez|
|WP - Wandy Rodriguez (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 94-60, Brandon Lyon 18-11, Matt Lindstrom 14-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 12-3, Brandon Lyon 2-0, Matt Lindstrom 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 29, Brandon Lyon 4, Matt Lindstrom 3|
|Rickie Weeks, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.274|
|Corey Hart, RF||4||0||2||0||0||1||1||.282|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.260|
|Ryan Braun, LF||4||1||1||0||0||0||3||.299|
|Casey McGehee, 3B||3||0||2||0||1||0||2||.275|
|Jonathan Lucroy, C||4||0||0||1||0||1||1||.274|
|Carlos Gomez, CF||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.235|
|Chris Capuano, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Todd Coffey, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Craig Counsell, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.256|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.241|
|Dave Bush, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||.158|
|Carlos Villanueva, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jim Edmonds, CF||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.261|
|a-struck out for Coffey in the 9th|
|2B - Rickie Weeks (16, Rodriguez), Ryan Braun (23, Rodriguez), Casey McGehee (18, Rodriguez)|
|RBI - Jonathan Lucroy (5)|
|SB - Carlos Gomez (9, 2nd base off Rodriguez/Castro)|
|CS - Jonathan Lucroy (2, 2nd base by Rodriguez/Castro)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Dave Bush (L,3-6)||6||5||2||2||5||3||0||4.43|
|WP - Dave Bush (1), Chris Capuano 2 (4)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Dave Bush 99-58, Carlos Villanueva 18-10, Chris Capuano 27-14, Todd Coffey 8-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dave Bush 6-9, Carlos Villanueva 1-0, Chris Capuano 2-0, Todd Coffey 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Dave Bush 28, Carlos Villanueva 6, Chris Capuano 5, Todd Coffey 3|
|Attendance - 30114|
|Game Time - 2:58|
|Temperature - 67|
|Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Brian Gorman|