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Brewers' Kottaras hits for MLB's first cycle of season

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- The bounce went just right for George Kottaras.

Kottaras became the first major leaguer to hit for the cycle this season, aided by a good bounce on Minute Maid Park's center field hill, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Houston Astros 8-2 Saturday night.

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Kottaras needed a double in his last at bat to complete the cycle and he hit a drive to deep center field. Kottaras likely could have stretched the hit to a triple, but the ball bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double.

"I was almost at second when the ball bounced out so that made it happen," Kottaras said. "I'll take it for sure."

Kottaras hit a solo homer in the fourth inning off Bud Norris (6-9) to give Milwaukee a 2-0 lead and tripled in the sixth ahead of a two-run shot by Craig Counsell, his first of the year.

"I wasn't trying for the cycle, just trying to play the right way and the way it's meant to be played," Kottaras said. "It made me feel good inside. It was a great feeling."

Kottaras added an RBI single in the seventh and his doubled off David Carpenter in the ninth gave him the first cycle by a Brewers hitter since Jody Gerut on May 8, 2010.

Colorado slugger Carlos Gonzalez was the last major leaguer to hit for the cycle, on July 31 last season against the Chicago Cubs.

According to STATS LLC, two of the last three big league catchers to hit for the cycle did it for Milwaukee: Kottaras and Chad Moeller (2004). Bengie Molina also accomplished the feat for Texas on July 16 last year.

Kottaras finished 4 for 5 with two RBI and scored twice. Prince Fielder drove in two runs with a grounder and a single as Milwaukee retained its 8½ game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central.

"I kind of knew (cycle possibility) but I wasn't just trying to hit a double, I was just going out to try to have a good at bat," Kottaras said. "It's a crazy game you never know what you're going to get."

Chris Narveson (10-6) allowed two runs and four hits over five innings in his first start for the Brewers since Aug. 22. He walked four and struck out four, working out of jams in the second and third.

Carlos Lee extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a two-run homer for Houston in the fifth. Norris gave up six runs, five earned, and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out five.

"That team is in first place," Lee said. "They can hit. They can do a lot of things right. It isn't easy. The last two games have been tough."

Narveson is trying to overcome a pair of injuries to his pitching hand. He went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 9 after injuring himself with scissors while repairing his glove. He left his last start on Aug. 22 with an injury to the middle finger on his left hand.

Milwaukee managed an unearned run without getting a hit in the first inning.

Nyjer Morgan reached on Lee's error at first base to start the game. Morgan stole second and went to third as Ryan Braun struck out but reached first on Norris' wild pitch.

Fielder grounded out and Morgan scored for the early lead.

Kottaras made it 2-0 in the fourth with his fourth homer on a 92 mph fastball from Norris.

Fielder hit an RBI single with two outs in the fifth and Mark Kotsay had a run-scoring double to make it 4-0.

In the sixth, Kottaras tripled to left and Counsell's homer made it 6-2.

Morgan prevented an extra-base hit by Jimmy Paredes when he crashed into the wall to make a catch in the second inning. Narveson quickly loaded the bases, however, by yielding a single to Jason Michaels and walks to Clint Barmes and Carlos Corporan.

Norris ended the threat by hitting into a double play.

"It's tough when you give a first place team that can swing a couple bad breaks there for us with a five-out inning or a four-out inning," Norris said. "It's tough, but I'm still trying to make my pitches and pick myself up from that inning."

Notes

  • Lee has three of his team-high 14 homers this season off Narveson.
  • Norris made his career-high 28th start. He already set personal bests for strikeouts and innings pitched.
  • Houston lost its 92nd game and moved closer to its first 100-loss 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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Milwaukee's George Kottaras celebrates his fifth-inning triple as he becomes the first player to hit for the cycle this season. (Getty Images)
Milwaukee's George Kottaras celebrates his fifth-inning triple as he becomes the first player to hit for the cycle this season. (Getty Images)

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Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Nyjer Morgan, CF-RF3210100 .307
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B4010012 .274
Ryan Braun, LF5110034 .331
Prince Fielder, 1B5012011 .297
    Casey McGehee, 1B0000000 .239
Mark Kotsay, RF4021001 .262
    Carlos Gomez, PR-CF1100002 .219
Taylor Green, 3B5121002 .571
George Kottaras, C5242001 .273
    Martin Maldonado, C0000000 .000
Craig Counsell, SS5112002 .169
Chris Narveson, P2000021 .152
   a- Josh Wilson, PH1000000 .232
    Kameron Loe, P1000011 .000
    Marco Estrada, P0000000 .250
   b- Logan Schafer, PH1000011 .000
    Frankie De La Cruz, P0000000 .000
Totals42813819  
a-flied out for Narveson in the 6th
b-struck out for M. Estrada in the 9th
Batting
2B - Mark Kotsay 2 (10, Norris, A. Rodriguez), Taylor Green (1, A. Rodriguez), George Kottaras (6, Carpenter)
3B - George Kottaras (1, Norris)
HR - George Kottaras (4, Norris), Craig Counsell (1, Norris)
RBI - Prince Fielder 2 (107), Mark Kotsay (25), Taylor Green (1), George Kottaras 2 (14), Craig Counsell 2 (8)
2-OUT RBI - Prince Fielder (35), Mark Kotsay (10), George Kottaras (4)
SB - Nyjer Morgan 2 (12, 2nd base off Norris/Corporan, 2nd base off Norris/Corporan)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - T. Green-Hairston-Fielder
E - Mark Kotsay (4, Dropped fly)
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Narveson (W,10-6) 5422441 4.26
Kameron Loe 2000010 3.44
Marco Estrada 1100010 4.20
Frankie De La Cruz 1000000 2.08
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Narveson 93-51, Kameron Loe 22-16, Marco Estrada 15-12, Frankie De La Cruz 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Narveson 5-6, Kameron Loe 3-2, Marco Estrada 1-1, Frankie De La Cruz 1-2
Batters Faced - Chris Narveson 23, Kameron Loe 6, Marco Estrada 4, Frankie De La Cruz 3
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jason Bourgeois, CF4010000 .284
Jose Altuve, 2B4000011 .296
J.D. Martinez, LF3110111 .293
Carlos Lee, 1B4122001 .277
Jimmy Paredes, 3B4000013 .296
Jason Michaels, RF3010010 .201
    Aneury Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
    Juan Abreu, P0000000 .000
   a- Brett Wallace, PH1000001 .266
    David Carpenter, P0000000 .000
Clint Barmes, SS2000200 .245
Carlos Corporan, C3000111 .190
Bud Norris, P2000012 .125
    Enerio Del Rosario, P0000000 .000
    J.B. Shuck, RF2000000 .239
Totals3225246  
a-fouled out for Abreu in the 8th
Batting
HR - Carlos Lee (14, Narveson)
RBI - Carlos Lee 2 (77)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee 2 (28)
SB - Jason Bourgeois (25, 2nd base off Narveson/Kottaras)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Carlos Lee (7, Missed catch of throw)
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Bud Norris (L,6-9) 5.1965152 3.83
Enerio Del Rosario 0.2000010 4.44
Aneury Rodriguez 1322010 5.24
Juan Abreu 1000010 5.40
David Carpenter 1100010 3.26
HBP - Morgan (by Juan Abreu), Hairston (by Juan Abreu)
WP - Bud Norris (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Bud Norris 121-78, Enerio Del Rosario 11-8, Aneury Rodriguez 29-18, Juan Abreu 13-10, David Carpenter 8-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bud Norris 6-7, Enerio Del Rosario 1-0, Juan Abreu 1-1, David Carpenter 1-1
Batters Faced - Bud Norris 28, Enerio Del Rosario 2, Aneury Rodriguez 6, Juan Abreu 5, David Carpenter 4
Game Information
Attendance - 24982
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Doug Eddings, Third Base - Dana DeMuth