Brewers hang on to top AstrosJul 31, 2012 - 4:40 AM
The Brewers, who fired bullpen coach Stan Kyles earlier Monday, initially took the lead with a four-run seventh inning, but Livan Hernandez allowed Steve Pearce's game-tying double in the eighth.
In the bottom half, Lucroy legged out a leadoff double and moved to third on Nyjer Morgan's bunt single before crossing the plate on Izturis' dribbler in front of the mound.
Cody Ransom followed with a three-run homer, adding some much-needed insurance for a Milwaukee bullpen which leads the majors in blown saves and needed a trio of relievers to record the final three outs.
"When Cody hit the homer I thought we were gonna win it nice and clean," said Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke. "It didn't happen, again."
Hernandez (3-1) was credited with the win despite giving up Brian Bogusevic's run-scoring single in the ninth. Kameron Loe didn't fare much better, allowing Justin Maxwell's RBI double before departing with runners on second and third with one out.
Pearce then made it a one-run game with a warning-track sacrifice fly off of John Axford, who then hit a batter before notching his 17th save thanks to Izturis' diving stop on J.D. Martinez's grounder.
After diving to his right, the shortstop fired a one-hopper to first, which Corey Hart snared just before Martinez reached the base.
Monday's performance was the most recent in a string of difficult outings for the Brewers' pen, which gave up nine runs over the final five innings of Sunday's 11-inning, 11-10 loss to the Nationals.
"This is getting tough," continued Roenicke.
Houston, meanwhile, snapped a franchise-record 12-game losing streak against the Pirates on Sunday and held a 3-0 lead on Monday thanks to Scott Moore's leadoff homer in the seventh.
Morgan, though, responded with a two-run blast in the home half and Izturis followed with a double to knock Bud Norris from the game. The Astros' starter was looking for his first win since May 21.
"Bud pitched extremely well but we might have stretched him a bit too much," said Astros manager Brad Mills.
Francisco Cordero failed to protect the lead, giving up RBI singles to Norichika Aoki and Aramis Ramirez later in the frame.
Pearce also had a first-inning sac fly, driving home Jose Altuve, who singled, stole second and moved to third on Lucroy's throwing error.
Altuve added a sac fly in the third for the Houston.
Brewers starter Marco Estrada was charged with three runs -- two earned -- over seven innings. He is winless in 12 starts this season.
Kyles had been with the Brewers organization since 2001 and was named bullpen coach following the 2008 season. Lee Tunnell, who had been the team's minor league pitching coordinator, replaced Kyles...Milwaukee has 21 blown saves on the season...Ryan Braun missed the game due to blisters on his hand...Norris gave up three runs on four hits over six-plus innings.
- HOUSTON: 7
Jul 30 11:44 PM
- Steve Pearce sacrifice fly out to right scored Jose Altuve with two out. On the play, Justin Maxwell advances to third. Runner on third and Brett Wallace due up.
Astros 7, Brewers 8 Top 9, 2 OutsJul 30 11:39 PM
- Pinch-Hitter Justin Maxwell double to left center scored Brian Bogusevic with one out. On the play, Jose Altuve advances to third. Runners on second and third and Steve Pearce due up.
Astros 6, Brewers 8 Top 9, 1 OutJul 30 11:35 PM
- Pinch-Hitter Brian Bogusevic single to center scored Jordan Schafer with one out. Runner on first and Jose Altuve due up.
Astros 5, Brewers 8 Top 9, 1 OutJul 30 11:26 PM
- Cody Ransom none-out, three-run Home Run (9) to left center scored Nyjer Morgan and Cesar Izturis. Norichika Aoki due up.
Astros 4, Brewers 8 Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 30 11:12 PM
- Cesar Izturis single to pitcher scored Jonathan Lucroy with none out. On the play, Nyjer Morgan advances to second. Runners on first and second and Cody Ransom due up.
Astros 4, Brewers 5 Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 30 11:11 PM
- Steve Pearce double to right scored Jose Altuve with one out. Runner on second and Brett Wallace due up.
Astros 4, Brewers 4 Top 8, 1 OutJul 30 10:50 PM
- Aramis Ramirez stole second. Carlos Gomez stole third. Runners on second and third with one out and Corey Hart at the plate.
Astros 3, Brewers 4 Bot 7, 1 OutJul 30 10:38 PM
- Carlos Gomez singled to left. On the play, Norichika Aoki advances to second. Runners on first and second with one out and Aramis Ramirez due up.
Astros 3, Brewers 3 Bot 7, 1 OutJul 30 10:32 PM
- Nyjer Morgan none-out, two-run Home Run (3) to right center scored Jonathan Lucroy. Cesar Izturis due up.
Astros 3, Brewers 2 Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 30 10:23 PM
- Scott Moore lead-off Home Run (5) to right. Carlos Corporan due up.
Astros 3, Brewers 0 Top 7, 0 OutsJul 30 10:11 PM
- Marwin Gonzalez singled to right. Runner on first with two outs and Steve Pearce due up.
Astros 2, Brewers 0 Top 3, 2 OutsJul 30 8:49 PM
- Steve Pearce sacrifice fly out to center scored Jose Altuve with two out. None on and Brett Wallace due up.
Astros 1, Brewers 0 Top 1, 2 OutsJul 30 8:17 PM
- HOUSTON: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jul 30 8:10 PM
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