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Astros roll over Brewers to end seven-game losing streak

Apr 29, 2007 - 3:59 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The Houston Astros ended a seven-game losing streak in convincing fashion.

Chris Sampson pitched six-plus solid innings and the Astros lineup scored nine runs over two innings in a 10-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in the second of a three-game series.

Sampson (3-1), making his seventh career start, allowed one run, five hits and two walks while striking out a career-high eight batters in 6 1/3 innings. The righthander retired eight consecutive batters between the first and third innings and also recorded his first major league hit.

"I had some pretty good stuff tonight," Sampson said. "I don't classify myself as a strikeout pitcher. I'm a ground-ball pitcher. I throw strikes and I'm going to rely on my defense. If I get a strikeout, that's a bonus.

"When the score was tied 1-1, I knew I couldn't let them get anything going. I just had to keep us in the game and wait for our offense to explode, and it did."

Craig Biggio drove in three runs while Lance Berkman, Adam Everett and Mark Loretta each had two RBI for the Astros, who posted a double-digit run total for the first time this season.

Houston broke the game open with four runs in the fifth inning and five more in the sixth.

Brad Ausmus singled with one out in the fifth to move Everett, who reached on a fielder's choice, to second base. Sampson followed with a single to center, but Everett was thrown out at home plate by center fielder Bill Hall.

A two-out walk to Biggio loaded the bases for Loretta, who hit a soft chopper to the third base side of the pitcher's mound. Starting pitcher Dave Bush (2-2) fielded the ball but had to rush his throw to home plate, which pulled catcher Johnny Estrada off the base and allowed Ausmus to score the go-ahead run.

"I was trying to make a one-handed play," Bush said. "I'm assuming my only play was at the plate. I didn't make it. That's part of the game."

Berkman followed with a hit that skipped over the first base bag and down the right field line, scoring all three baserunners for a 5-1 lead.

The third run scored before Berkman made the final out of the inning on the play when he was tagged out in a rundown between first and second base. He said he was surprised that right fielder Corey Hart retrieved the ball so quickly.

"When you hit a ball right down the first-base line, it doesn't even cross your mind that it's not going to be a double," Berkman said. "(The ball) kicked off (the wall) and, to be honest, I saw the ball out of the corner of my eye coming into second.

"Honestly, my first thought was a fan had grabbed it and thrown it. The right fielder didn't even cross my mind. Using my blazing speed and agility, I was able to get us another run."

"It looked like we were going to have a hard time scoring runs, and then Lance came through with the big blow and kind of cleaned things up," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "We want to continue to push, push hard. To me, pressing is when you start thinking about the results more than the process.

"Bush has been tough on us, but we had some tough at-bats on him early in the ballgame. We got his pitch count up and maybe we wore him down."

The Astros chased Bush an inning later.

After Luke Scott's one-out walk, Hunter Pence, making his major league debut, fought off an inside pitch and delivered a single to right field for his first hit. The 24-year-old was called up by the Astros following Friday's game.

"I had 30 different people telling me to just go out there, have fun and relax," Pence said. "I guess that just kind of got pounded into my head."

Everett followed with a two-run double to left field, at which point Chris Spurling replaced Bush.

After getting Ausmus to strike out, Spurling allowed an infield single to Sampson and a two-run triple to Biggio. Loretta made it 10-1 with a soft fly down the right field line that scored Biggio. After allowing a single to Berkman, Spurling finally got out of the inning with a flyout by Carlos Lee.

Biggio has 2,953 career hits and is two behind Willie Keeler for 29th place on the all-time list.

Milwaukee's only tally came in the fourth inning off Sampson. Trailing, 1-0, Prince Fielder and Hall led off the frame with back-to-back singles. Estrada reached first base and Fielder advanced to third on a fielder's choice that cut down Hall at second base.

Geoff Jenkins followed with a single to right, scoring Fielder and knotting the game at 1-1. However, Sampson escaped further damage by striking out Hart and Craig Counsell to end the inning. Brad Lidge and Trever Miller combined to pitch 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Bush allowed eight runs - seven earned - and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. The righthander also walked two while striking out four. Spurling was charged with two runs - none earned - and three hits in two-thirds of an inning.

"It got out of hand quickly," Bush said. "They scored four runs on three pitches. It's frustrating, but it's part of the game. I felt good out there. I made a couple of pitches in the zone they hit, but I felt I threw well other than that."

Estrada had two hits for Milwaukee, which fell to 20-52 overall in Houston.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MILWAUKEE 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 1
    HOUSTON 0 0 1 0 4 5 0 0 x 10 13 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: MIL - DAVE BUSH, CHRIS SPURLING (6TH), ELMER DESSENS (7TH) AND
    JOHNNY ESTRADA
    HOU - CHRIS SAMPSON, BRAD LIDGE (7TH), TREVER MILLER
    (9TH) AND BRAD AUSMUS

    HOME RUN

    Apr 28 9:52 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK LORETTA SCORED CRAIG BIGGIO.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, M LORETTA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 1
    HOUSTON 10 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L BERKMAN (.250, 2-FOR-3, 2 RBI)

    Brewers vs. AstrosApr 28 9:03 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY CRAIG BIGGIO SCORED ADAM EVERETT AND CHRIS
    SAMPSON.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, C BIGGIO ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 1
    HOUSTON 9 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.359, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Brewers vs. AstrosApr 28 9:00 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ADAM EVERETT SCORED LUKE SCOTT AND HUNTER PENCE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A EVERETT ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 1
    HOUSTON 7 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: B AUSMUS (.286, 2-FOR-2)

    Brewers vs. AstrosApr 28 8:51 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED CHRIS SAMPSON, CRAIG BIGGIO
    AND MARK LORETTA.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, 0 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 1
    HOUSTON 5 END BOTTOM, 5TH

    Brewers vs. AstrosApr 28 8:36 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK LORETTA SCORED BRAD AUSMUS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M LORETTA ON FIRST, C BIGGIO ON SECOND, C
    SAMPSON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 1
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L BERKMAN (.241, 1-FOR-2)

    Brewers vs. AstrosApr 28 8:33 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GEOFF JENKINS SCORED PRINCE FIELDER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G JENKINS ON FIRST, J ESTRADA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 1
    HOUSTON 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: C HART (.294, 0-FOR-1)

    Brewers vs. AstrosApr 28 8:01 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY CRAIG BIGGIO SCORED ADAM EVERETT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B AUSMUS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 0
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.351, 0-FOR-1)

    Brewers vs. AstrosApr 28 7:53 PM