Milwaukee at Houston

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Milwaukee (16-21)000100002351
Houston (16-21) «02320010x880

Astros 8, Brewers 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Houston starter Bud Norris spoke to manager Brad Mills before the season about being more consistent and pitching deeper into games this year.

So far, Norris is getting just what he wanted.

Carlos Lee had three hits, including his first home run since April 22, and three RBI to back another solid outing by Norris, and the Houston Astros beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-3 on Wednesday night.

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Norris (4-1) yielded four hits and a run with a season-high nine strikeouts in seven innings, improving to 3-0 in his last four starts to help Houston end a four-game skid.

"He came in saying he wanted to have a different year this year and I think with the way he's gone about his business and gone about how he's pitched has been along those lines," Mills said. "There's no reason to think that's going to change as he continues to put together good outing after good outing."

The team is 7-1 in his eight starts this season and he has pitched fewer than six innings just once this year.

"I'm growing up and I guess I'm getting a little older and a little wiser," the 27-year-old said. "Each offseason I'm going to try to make strides in the right direction and I've got a lot of people around me helping."

Lee's home run was a solo shot to left-center field in the seventh inning that put Houston up 8-1. His third home run of the season came just moments after he narrowly avoided being hit by a foul ball from J.D. Martinez while waiting in the on-deck circle.

"It was too close," he said. "If the ball is coming right at you, you're so close right there that by the time you react, the ball's already by you. So it's scary to be out there."

Lee looked a bit shaken after ducking to avoid the ball and running out of the way. He recovered by the time he was at the plate, and the homer was the culmination of a good night for Lee, who singled and scored in the second then drove in two runs with a single in Houston's three-run third.

He's had 10 hits combined in the last four games after getting nine in the previous 10 games.

"I'm feeling real good right now," he said. "I've kind of found something that's keeping me in a good position to hit."

Milwaukee starter Randy Wolf (2-4) allowed seven hits and seven runs -- six earned -- in a season-worst four innings. His performance ended a streak of seven consecutive quality starts for the Brewers, whose starters combined for a 1.37 ERA in that span.

"Randy got behind guys and they started finding holes," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I've said before these guys are a scrappy team. Offensively, these guys can swing the bat. They are always on base. They are hard to get out."

The Brewers were disappointed that they weren't able to build on Tuesday's 8-0 win over the Mets.

"I can only speak for myself, and I know I'm miserable," Wolf said when asked about the mood of the team.

The only mistake by Norris came in the fourth inning against Corey Hart. Hart's eighth homer of the season sailed to the back of the Crawford Boxes in left field to get Milwaukee within 5-1. But the Brewers weren't able to build on it and Norris retired 11 straight after that, striking out six.

Milwaukee didn't get another runner on base until Cesar Izturis singled with two outs in the seventh inning, but Norris struck out pinch-hitter Taylor Green to end the inning.

Pinch-hitter Jonathan Lucroy's triple in the ninth inning drove in two runs to cut the lead to 8-3.

Lee singled in the second before scoring on a double by Jed Lowrie, which bounced off the wall in left field, to put Houston up 1-0. Justin Maxwell followed with an RBI single on a grounder to center field which pushed the lead to 2-0.

Norris started Houston's third with a single that was deflected into the outfield by Rickie Weeks. Jose Altuve singled with one out before Wolf walked J.D. Martinez to load the bases.

A groundball single by Lee scored Norris and Altuve to extend Houston's lead to 4-0.

Lowrie reached second base and Martinez scored on an error by Hart, the right fielder, when he couldn't make an over-the-shoulder catch on a fly ball at the wall.

Jordan Schafer drove in a run with a single in the fourth to make it 6-1. Altuve walked after Schafer's hit and the pair pulled off a double steal. Schafer scored on a sacrifice fly by Martinez.

Weeks struck out four times to lower his average to .154. The slumping Weeks has had only one hit -- a home run -- in his past 27 at-bats.

Notes

Brewers SS Alex Gonzalez is scheduled to have surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on Thursday in Milwaukee. ... Houston pitching coach Doug Brocail turned 45 on Wednesday. ... Jackie Robinson's daughter Sharon Robinson was at Wednesday night's game to honor local seventh grader Aeliya Arif for winning second place in a national essay contest where students tell how they've used Jackie Robinson's values to face obstacles. ... These teams wrap up this short, two-game series on Thursday when Houston lefthander J.A. Happ meets Milwaukee's Shaun Marcum.

 
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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Players of the Game
Houston

C. Lee
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Houston

B. Norris
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 2
K 9
 

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Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Nyjer Morgan, CF4000011 .191
Rickie Weeks, 2B4000041 .154
Ryan Braun, LF3010100 .305
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3100113 .230
Corey Hart, RF3211110 .246
George Kottaras, C3000000 .265
   a- Edwin Maysonet, PH1000002 .333
Travis Ishikawa, 1B2000110 .250
   b- Jonathan Lucroy, PH1012000 .337
Cesar Izturis, SS4010002 .214
Randy Wolf, P1010000 .167
   c- Brooks Conrad, PH1000010 .000
    Vinnie Chulk, P0000000 .000
   d- Taylor Green, PH1000011 .263
    Tim Dillard, P0000000 .000
    Manny Parra, P0000000 .000
   e- Norichika Aoki, PH1000001 .250
Totals32353410  
a-flied out for Kottaras in the 9th
b-tripled for Ishikawa in the 9th
c-struck out for Wolf in the 5th
d-struck out for Chulk in the 7th
e-grounded out for Parra in the 9th
Batting
3B - Jonathan Lucroy (3, Wright)
HR - Corey Hart (8, Norris)
RBI - Corey Hart (18), Jonathan Lucroy 2 (19)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Ramirez-Weeks-Ishikawa
E - Corey Hart (1, Dropped fly)
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Randy Wolf (L,2-4) 4776310 6.38
Vinnie Chulk 2000030 7.71
Tim Dillard 1.2111011 4.50
Manny Parra 0.1000000 3.06
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wolf 83-48, Vinnie Chulk 27-18, Tim Dillard 26-18, Manny Parra 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wolf 6-5, Tim Dillard 1-3, Manny Parra 1-0
Batters Faced - Randy Wolf 22, Vinnie Chulk 6, Tim Dillard 6, Manny Parra 1
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jordan Schafer, CF4111011 .248
Jose Altuve, 2B3110100 .309
J.D. Martinez, LF2101100 .227
Carlos Lee, 1B4233001 .305
Jed Lowrie, SS4111010 .272
Justin Maxwell, RF4011022 .229
Chris Johnson, 3B4000013 .280
Jason Castro, C3100100 .225
Bud Norris, P2110000 .200
    Rhiner Cruz, P0000000 .000
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
Totals3088735  
Batting
2B - Jed Lowrie (6, Wolf)
HR - Carlos Lee (3, Dillard)
SF - J.D. Martinez (1)
SH - Bud Norris (2)
RBI - Jordan Schafer (10), J.D. Martinez (21), Carlos Lee 3 (18), Jed Lowrie (13), Justin Maxwell (6)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee (9)
SB - Jordan Schafer (12, 3rd base off Wolf/Kottaras), Jose Altuve (7, 2nd base off Wolf/Kottaras)
Team LOB - 3
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Bud Norris (W,4-1) 7411291 3.58
Rhiner Cruz 1022210 3.18
Wesley Wright 1100000 2.79
Pitches-Strikes - Bud Norris 117-73, Rhiner Cruz 21-9, Wesley Wright 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bud Norris 7-5, Rhiner Cruz 1-1, Wesley Wright 2-1
Batters Faced - Bud Norris 27, Rhiner Cruz 5, Wesley Wright 4
Game Information
Attendance - 15453
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski