|Milwaukee (52-61) «||0||1||0||0||2||1||0||1||0||5||9||1|
HOUSTON -- The Milwaukee Brewers don't have a defined closer in a bullpen that's already blown 22 save chances this season.
Now each reliever has to be ready in case the task of holding a ninth-inning lead falls to him.
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On Sunday it was Kameron Loe's turn and, after a couple of hiccups, he shut down the Houston Astros to preserve a 5-3 win and end Milwaukee's 11-game road losing streak.
"It keeps us on our toes right now," he said. "I think there's been a learning process this year for a number of guys, myself included, and you've just got to accept the challenges that come along and take it with a smile."
Yovani Gallardo handled Houston once again and Corey Hart homered for the Brewers.
Milwaukee won on the road for the first time since July 8 at Houston in its last game before the All-Star break. The Brewers had been swept at the Reds, Phillies and Cardinals since then to extend their losing streak to the second-longest in franchise history, and the longest since they lost 17 straight in 1970.
Gallardo (11-8) won his 10th straight start against Houston. He's the first pitcher to win 10 or more consecutive starts against one opponent since Roy Halladay did it against Montreal/Washington from 2004-11, according to information provided to the Brewers by the Elias Sports Bureau.
The right-hander allowed three runs and struck out eight in 7 2/3 innings.
Gallardo said it's hard to believe that he's won that many in a row over the Astros.
"I really try not to look at those numbers like that," he said. "They made me work today. It seemed like there were a lot of 3-2 counts and taking some pretty good pitches and fouling some pretty good pitches."
Things got a bit dicey for Loe and Milwaukee's beleaguered bullpen in the ninth inning after a hit and an error left the tying on second base. But he retired Marwin Gonzalez to get his first save in six tries.
"It felt really good to close it out," Loe said.
The Brewers have blown four saves on the road since the All-Star break as the bullpen has struggled to find any consistency.
The problems have been wearing on manager Ron Roenicke.
"It's hard. It really is," he said. "I feel for the guys. I like the guys that are down there and I know how badly they want to do well and it's hard when guys struggle. Those things are hard on coaching staffs because you care about the players, you know what they're struggling through and you feel like it's your job to get them going. And when they don't, it's hard on you."
Hart broke an 0-for-17 streak with Milwaukee's first home run of the series, a solo shot to center field to lead off the sixth inning that made it 4-2.
Jordan Lyles (2-9) allowed eight hits and four runs -- two earned -- in seven innings for his fifth straight loss. He hasn't won since June 26.
The Astros wore their blue-and-gold star throwback uniforms for the third straight game after picking up dramatic last at-bat wins in them Friday and Saturday night. But the luck of those uniforms, which were worn from 1994-99, wore off on Sunday as last-place Houston lost for the 35th time in 41 games.
Consecutive doubles by Tyler Greene and Gonzalez gave Houston a 1-0 lead in the first. Carlos Gomez, Jean Segura and Gallardo each singled with two outs to tie it at 1-all in the second.
Segura singled to start the fifth inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Norichika Aoki reached on an error by Gonzalez at shortstop and stole second, and Segura beat the throw home on a grounder by Rickie Weeks for a 2-1 lead. Ryan Braun added an RBI grounder.
Martin Maldonado's RBI double in the eighth inning put Milwaukee up 5-2.
"I know [Gonzalez] feels terrible, but we've talked many times about giving teams extra outs," Houston manager Brad Mills said. "That's exactly what we did that inning, and that's what hurt us."
Scott Moore's run-scoring single with two outs in the eighth inning chased Gallardo. He was replaced by Jose Veras, who struck out Ben Francisco to end the inning.
Aoki had two hits and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. ... Houston C Jason Castro, on the disabled list with a right knee injury, went 3 for 3 and played nine innings behind the plate in a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday night and will be activated on Monday. The Astros optioned C Carlos Corporan after the game to make room for Castro on the roster. ... Milwaukee RHP Shaun Marcum, on the 60-day DL with tightness in his right elbow, is scheduled to make his second rehabilitation start on Wednesday for Single-A Wisconsin. ... Armando Galarraga opposes Chicago's Jeff Samardzija when the Astros open a three-game series with the Cubs on Monday. ... Milwaukee's Mike Fiers takes on Colorado LHP Jeff Francis as the Brewers travel to take on the Rockies.
|Players of the Game|
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|Norichika Aoki, RF||5||1||2||0||0||0||2||.290|
|Rickie Weeks, 2B||4||0||0||1||0||2||2||.216|
|Ryan Braun, LF||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.304|
|Aramis Ramirez, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.292|
|Corey Hart, 1B||3||2||1||1||1||0||0||.264|
|Martin Maldonado, C||4||0||1||1||0||2||0||.278|
|Carlos Gomez, CF||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.248|
|Jean Segura, SS||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.250|
|Yovani Gallardo, P||2||0||1||1||0||0||0||.140|
|Jose Veras, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Travis Ishikawa, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.242|
|Kameron Loe, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-flied out for Veras in the 9th|
|2B - Martin Maldonado (7, Storey)|
|HR - Corey Hart (22, Lyles)|
|SH - Yovani Gallardo (5)|
|RBI - Rickie Weeks (40), Ryan Braun (77), Corey Hart (56), Martin Maldonado (23), Yovani Gallardo (5)|
|2-OUT RBI - Yovani Gallardo (3)|
|SB - Norichika Aoki 2 (16, 2nd base off Lyles/Snyder, 2nd base off Lyles/Snyder)|
|CS - Norichika Aoki (4, 2nd base by Lyles/Snyder)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Weeks-Segura-Hart|
|E - Kameron Loe (2, Throwing)|
|Yovani Gallardo (W,11-8)||7.2||9||3||3||2||8||0||3.78|
|Jose Veras (H,11)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||4.66|
|Kameron Loe (S,1)||1||1||0||0||0||2||0||3.78|
|WP - Kameron Loe (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Yovani Gallardo 114-69, Jose Veras 4-3, Kameron Loe 20-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yovani Gallardo 10-3, Kameron Loe 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Yovani Gallardo 32, Jose Veras 1, Kameron Loe 5|
|Tyler Greene, 2B||5||1||2||0||0||2||4||.228|
|Marwin Gonzalez, SS||5||1||2||2||0||0||2||.246|
|Steve Pearce, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.294|
|Justin Maxwell, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.242|
|Scott Moore, 3B||3||0||1||1||1||2||0||.222|
|Ben Francisco, RF||3||0||0||0||1||2||3||.250|
|Fernando Martinez, LF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.120|
|Chris Snyder, C||4||1||2||0||0||2||1||.177|
|Jordan Lyles, P||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.120|
|a- Brett Wallace, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.307|
|Mickey Storey, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Brian Bogusevic, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.211|
|a-hit into fielder's choice for Lyles in the 7th|
|b-grounded out for Storey in the 9th|
|2B - Tyler Greene (11, Gallardo), Marwin Gonzalez (10, Gallardo)|
|SH - Jordan Lyles (6)|
|RBI - Marwin Gonzalez 2 (11), Scott Moore (16)|
|2-OUT RBI - Scott Moore (7)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - Fernando Martinez 1|
|E - Marwin Gonzalez (5, Misplayed grounder)|
|Jordan Lyles (L,2-9)||7||8||4||2||0||5||1||5.47|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Lyles 105-73, Mickey Storey 24-16|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Lyles 16-1, Mickey Storey 2-2|
|Batters Faced - Jordan Lyles 30, Mickey Storey 7|
|Attendance - 19235|
|Game Time - 2:51|
|Temperature - 73|
|Umpires - Home - David Rackley, First Base - Scott Barry, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - Gary Darling|