Milwaukee at Houston

W: J. Happ (3-3) L: S. Marcum (2-2)
HR: MIL - None   HOU - J. Lowrie (5)

Astros 4, Brewers 0 wire reports

HOUSTON -- Many times this season when J.A. Happ got into trouble on the mound, the left-hander was unable to make the pitches necessary to escape those jams.

That wasn't the case Thursday night.

Jed Lowrie hit a two-run homer and Happ threw six effective innings before three relievers completed the Houston Astros' 4-0 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers.

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The shutout wrapped up a two-game sweep for the Astros, who took the opener 8-3.

Happ (3-3) yielded seven hits and walked one, managing to escape jam after jam as the Brewers stranded eight while he was on the mound.

"He had to work out of some jams and he got some pretty good hitters to work out of those jams," Houston manager Brad Mills said. "He had to make those pitches to get out of it, but we've seen the last couple outings that it's been kind of tough to make those pitches, and tonight he was able to make the pitches. It was sure great to see."

Chris Snyder, batting .179 this season, had two hits -- including an RBI single after Lowrie's home run in Houston's four-run fourth. Jordan Schafer drove in a run later in that inning with a single and also had a double in the third.

Milwaukee starter Shaun Marcum (2-2) allowed four runs -- three earned -- and a season-high nine hits in five innings. The Brewers said he was bothered by a cramp in his oblique before the game, but he didn't feel it again after warming up.

Marcum called the team's 1-3 road trip to New York and Houston "terrible."

"We're getting guys on base. We just have to get hits with guys on base, and pitchers have to make pitches when they have runners on base and play good defense," Marcum said. "Just do all the things you were taught as a little kid, you know? Play the game fundamentally sound, and if we do that hopefully things take care of themselves."

Astros relievers Wesley Wright, Wilton Lopez and Fernando Abad combined to give up one hit in three innings, handing Milwaukee its fourth shutout.

Lopez allowed his first walk of the season to Aramis Ramirez in the eighth inning. Before that he had faced 78 batters without a walk, which was the longest such streak by a reliever to start a season since John Smoltz went 92 hitters before walking one in 2004.

"The ball bounced our way tonight. Sometimes it doesn't, and that's kind of the difference," Happ said. "We were fortunate for that and we played good defense."

Happ walked Marcum with one out in the third before a double by Norichika Aoki. Rickie Weeks followed with an infield single -- his second hit in his past 29 at-bats -- but Happ retired Ryan Braun and Ramirez to pitch out of the bases-loaded jam.

Happ got into trouble again in the fifth after a single by Cesar Izturis before a one-out single by Aoki. An error by right fielder Brian Bogusevic allowed Aoki to advance to second and Izturis to move to third. Happ got out of this one by striking out Weeks before a groundout by Braun.

In what became a theme for his night, Happ got into another jam in the sixth. A double by Corey Hart before a single by Jonathan Lucroy left runners at the corners with one out. Happ escaped unscathed yet again when Snyder caught a foul popup by Brooks Conrad and Izturis grounded into a force out to end the inning.

"We have a lot of things that we have to start doing better offensively," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "Regardless of what happened in the fourth inning with Marcum, we don't score, and we need to start scoring."

The performance helped Happ put his last two starts, when he allowed 11 runs combined, behind him.

"I didn't want to put too much pressure on myself, but I definitely wanted to go out and have a good one," Happ said. "I felt good physically and mechanically and ... I wasn't overthrowing."

Carlos Lee singled in the fourth before Lowrie's shot to right field, which sailed over the outstretched arm of a leaping Hart, put Houston up 2-0. Bogusevic singled before scoring on a one-out single by Snyder.

Snyder advanced to second on the play thanks to an error by Aoki in center field. Schafer capped the scoring with a two-out RBI single.


Brewers SS Alex Gonzalez had surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Milwaukee. His recovery time is expected to be six months. ... Roenicke expects OF Carlos Gomez (strained left hamstring) to be activated from the disabled list Sunday. He is on a rehabilitation assignment with Class A Wisconsin. ... Houston opens a three-game series with the Rangers on Friday, with Wandy Rodriguez facing Texas right-hander Neftali Feliz. ... Brewers RHP Marco Estrada opposes Minnesota left-hander Scott Diamond in the opener of a three-game set Friday.

Copyright 2017 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

J. Happ
IP 6.0
H 7
ER 0
BB 1
K 4

J. Lowrie
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Milwaukee Brewers
Norichika Aoki, CF4030000 .286
Rickie Weeks, 2B5010014 .156
Ryan Braun, LF4010006 .304
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3000104 .225
Corey Hart, RF4010021 .246
Jonathan Lucroy, C4010011 .333
Brooks Conrad, 1B3000012 .000
    Kameron Loe, P0000000 .000
    Vinnie Chulk, P0000000 .000
   a- Taylor Green, PH1000001 .250
    Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
Cesar Izturis, SS4010002 .217
Shaun Marcum, P1000101 .063
    Travis Ishikawa, 1B1000000 .245
   b- Edwin Maysonet, PH1000000 .300
a-grounded out for Chulk in the 8th
b-popped out for Ishikawa in the 9th
2B - Norichika Aoki (2, Happ), Corey Hart (11, Happ)
SB - Ryan Braun (7, 2nd base off Happ/Snyder)
Team LOB - 11
E - Norichika Aoki (1, Throwing), Jonathan Lucroy (2, Throwing)
Milwaukee Brewers
Shaun Marcum (L,2-2) 5943151 3.31
Kameron Loe 1100020 2.16
Vinnie Chulk 1100100 6.75
Jose Veras 1200000 6.35
HBP - Schafer (by Kameron Loe)
Pitches-Strikes - Shaun Marcum 91-60, Kameron Loe 17-14, Vinnie Chulk 19-10, Jose Veras 15-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shaun Marcum 8-2, Kameron Loe 1-0, Jose Veras 2-1
Batters Faced - Shaun Marcum 25, Kameron Loe 5, Vinnie Chulk 5, Jose Veras 5
Houston Astros
Jordan Schafer, CF4021010 .256
Jose Altuve, 2B5030013 .319
J.D. Martinez, LF5010016 .226
    Fernando Abad, P0000000 .000
Carlos Lee, 1B4110103 .304
Jed Lowrie, SS3112101 .274
Brian Bogusevic, RF4110002 .234
Chris Johnson, 3B4020011 .287
Chris Snyder, C4121013 .179
J.A. Happ, P2000011 .133
   a- Marwin Gonzalez, PH1000011 .226
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
    Wilton Lopez, P0000000 .000
   b- Travis Buck, PH-LF1000000 .250
a-struck out for Happ in the 6th
b-grounded out for Lopez in the 8th
2B - Jordan Schafer (6, Marcum), Chris Snyder (2, Loe)
HR - Jed Lowrie (5, Marcum)
RBI - Jordan Schafer (11), Jed Lowrie 2 (15), Chris Snyder (7)
2-OUT RBI - Jordan Schafer (4)
SB - Jose Altuve (8, 3rd base off Marcum/Lucroy), Brian Bogusevic (6, 2nd base off Marcum/Lucroy)
Team LOB - 12
E - Brian Bogusevic (1, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
J.A. Happ (W,3-3) 6700140 4.96
Wesley Wright 0.1000000 2.70
Wilton Lopez 1.2000110 1.54
Fernando Abad 1100000 4.70
HBP - Aoki (by Wesley Wright)
Pitches-Strikes - J.A. Happ 97-68, Wesley Wright 11-5, Wilton Lopez 19-13, Fernando Abad 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.A. Happ 9-5, Wesley Wright 1-0, Wilton Lopez 3-1, Fernando Abad 1-2
Batters Faced - J.A. Happ 26, Wesley Wright 2, Wilton Lopez 6, Fernando Abad 4
Game Information
Attendance - 15173
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Mike Muchlinski, Third Base - Wally Bell