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Back-to-back home runs in ninth lift Brewers over Astros

Aug 12, 2007 - 3:46 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder hit back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning against Brad Lidge to lift the Milwaukee Brewers to a 7-4 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday.

The Brewers trailed, 4-1, in the eighth before rallying against the Astros' bullpen after a great outing by starter Wandy Rodriguez.

With the win, Milwaukee remains atop the National League Central by one game over the Chicago Cubs.

After Milwaukee scored twice in the eighth to pull within 4-3, Lidge (3-2) entered the game in the ninth and allowed infield singles to J.J. Hardy and Joe Dillon. Lidge then fielded Rickie Weeks' bunt and threw to third in time to get the forceout before catching Corey Hart looking at a slider on the inside corner for the second out of the inning.

But the righthander couldn't get out of the jam as Braun hit a three-run blast to left field, his 22nd of the year, putting the Brewers up, 6-4, and handing Lidge his fifth blown save of the season.

Fielder followed Braun's home run with his National League-leading 36th blast of the season.

"It just felt great coming against one of the best pitchers in the game," Braun said. "I was just looking for something that I could center. Everyone had great at-bats ahead of me to get us there. This is definitely the biggest home run of my big league career."

"It was an interesting inning," Lidge said. "I was able to get just one pitch away with my good slider. I threw it down (to Braun) and I was figuring with two strikes, he'd go down and swing and miss. But somehow he went down and hit a home run. I was surprised and I wouldn't change the pitch at all."

Rodriguez allowed a run and six hits with three walks and four strikeouts in seven innings.

Houston has now dropped six straight games to the Brewers, the longest losing streak in series history.

"We've had a lot of tough ones this year, but this is one of the tougher ones because of how well Wandy pitched and how well we had it going early," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "We made some mistakes and they made us pay. I thought the pitch to Braun was a good pitch. It was down in the zone, a good slider, and I don't think it would have been called a strike if he had taken it."

Brewers starter Jeff Suppan allowed four runs on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings. The righthander struck out seven and walked three, remaining winless over his last 10 starts. His last victory came on June 22 against the Kansas City Royals.

Scott Linebrink (4-3) allowed one hit while pitching a scoreless eighth inning to pick up the win. Francisco Cordero notched his 36th save of the season as he struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning.

"This is a good moral victory for us as well as giving up momentum going into tomorrow," Linebrink said. "We've kind of been hitting the skids lately and this is the kind of win that can get you back on track and on a streak. It could not have come at a better time for us."

The game began to slip away from the Astros in the eighth inning after Rodriguez was lifted in favor of Chad Qualls. The righthander hadn't given up a run in his last 12 innings but let the Brewers back into the game, surrendering two runs in the eighth.

After Weeks led off the eighth with a double, Hart narrowed the Astros' lead to 4-2 with a triple to right field. The next batter, Braun, plated Hart by beating out a slow grounder to third, closing the lead to 4-3.

After a pinch-hit single by Craig Counsell, the Brewers nearly tied the game on Kevin Mench's single. But Astros right fielder Luke Scott made a perfect throw home to cut down Braun.

"Qualls has been very tough on us lifetime and to put that rally together against him was key," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "Then we got those great home runs, back-to-back, in the ninth from those two young kids. Braun's was a huge at-bat for us."

The Astros opened the scoring in the second inning when Craig Biggio hit a ground-rule double to right field, plating Scott, who walked to lead off the inning.

Houston's lead increased to four in the fifth inning when a miscue by Bill Hall in center field led to a three-run inning.

Hall tried to make a sliding catch on Mark Loretta's fly ball, but came up short. The ball bounced over Hall as Loretta scampered to reach third base with a triple. After an intentional walk to Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee ripped a double to the right-center field gap, plating Loretta and Berkman.

The Astros added one more run in the inning, when Weeks went to second base on a ground ball by Scott, allowing Lee to score on the fielder's choice.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MILWAUKEE 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 7 15 0
    HOUSTON 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 4 11 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: MIL - JEFF SUPPAN, MATT WISE (6TH), SCOTT LINEBRINK (8TH), FRANCISCO
    CORDERO (9TH) AND JOHNNY ESTRADA
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ, CHAD QUALLS (8TH), BRAD LIDGE
    (9TH) AN

    Aug 11 10:21 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY PRINCE FIELDER (36) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF BRAD LIDGE.
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 7, HOUSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: S LINEBRINK (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Brewers vs. AstrosAug 11 10:14 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN BRAUN (22) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF BRAD LIDGE SCORED JOE DILLON AND RICKIE WEEKS.
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 6, HOUSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: P FIELDER (.289, 2-FOR-4)

    Brewers vs. AstrosAug 11 10:13 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Brewers vs. AstrosAug 11 10:13 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Brewers vs. AstrosAug 11 9:56 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN BRAUN SCORED COREY HART.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R BRAUN ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 3
    HOUSTON 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: P FIELDER (.290, 2-FOR-3)

    Brewers vs. AstrosAug 11 9:38 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY COREY HART SCORED RICKIE WEEKS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C HART ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2
    HOUSTON 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: R BRAUN (.342, 0-FOR-3)

    Brewers vs. AstrosAug 11 9:36 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    J.J. HARDY HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING KEVIN MENCH.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 1
    HOUSTON 4 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: J DILLON (.667, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Brewers vs. AstrosAug 11 9:22 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY LUKE SCOTT SCORED CARLOS LEE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, L SCOTT ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 0
    HOUSTON 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: J LANE (.168, 0-FOR-2)

    Brewers vs. AstrosAug 11 8:49 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED MARK LORETTA AND LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C LEE ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 0
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: T WIGGINTON (.303, 0-FOR-2)

    Brewers vs. AstrosAug 11 8:44 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY CRAIG BIGGIO SCORED LUKE SCOTT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C BIGGIO ON SECOND, W RODRIGUEZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 0
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.286, 0-FOR-1)

    Brewers vs. AstrosAug 11 7:46 PM