for this game

Villanueva lifts Brewers past Astros

Sep 5, 2007 - 4:32 AM By JR Radcliffe PA Sportsticker Contributing Writer

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Carlos Villanueva made a strong argument to become a full-time member of the Milwaukee Brewers' rotation.

Villanueva hurled six stellar innings and Ryan Braun homered as the Milwaukee Brewers held on for their fourth win in five games, a 5-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday.

Brandon Backe (0-1) pitched well for Houston, making his first major league start in over a year. But he could not prevent his team from falling to 26-44 on the road, the worst mark in the National League.

Villanueva (7-3) struck out a career-best six and made his first appearance since a September 1 recall. The Dominican righthander allowed one run on five hits with two walks.

"The fact that I can come up here and help, it feels good," Villanueva said. "I've had so many ups and downs all year, and to give the team a chance to win like that is just a good feeling all around."

Villanueva was optioned to Class AAA Nashville on August 20 after spending the entirety of the 2007 season with the parent club. That move that gave the 24-year-old an opportunity to shift from a multi-purpose reliever into a starter's role. He made two starts, both fewer than five innings.

"That inning I had to run the bases (in the second inning), the two innings after that I didn't feel good, I'll tell you that," Villanueva said. "I probably felt better in the sixth inning. That's the best I felt all night."

The 23-year-old Villanueva made just his second start of the season - eighth career - and first since June 13. He did not have a good August coming out of the Bullpen for the Brewers, posting a 10.32 ERA in eight appearances.

Braun backed the effort with a solo home run in the first and a single in the seventh that led to an insurance run.

Braun's towering shot to left field in the first inning put Milwaukee on the board and the Brewers plated another run in the second on a throwing error by first baseman Lance Berkman.

"I feel like we're manufacturing runs a little bit better," Braun said. "I felt like we've been relying on the home run ball a little too much, because it's not always going to happen. It's just encouraging that everybody's contributing and we're scoring runs by manufacturing and not the home run all the time."

Milwaukee (70-68) pulled to within one-half game in the NL Central behind the Chicago Cubs (70-67), who suffered a 6-2 setback to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Chris Burke homered in the third to draw Houston within 2-1. But Milwaukee padded their lead with two additional runs on Corey Hart's RBI double and Geoff Jenkins' run-scoring single in the fifth.

The Brewers bullpen, which surrendered a three-run advantage Monday and contributed to Milwaukee's major-leading 15th loss after leading by three or more runs, buckled slightly in the seventh.

Eric Munson reached on a fielding error by second baseman Rickie Weeks and scored on a single by Hunter Pence, who scored later in the inning on Carlos Lee's groundout.

Brian Shouse pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Francisco Cordero stifled any additional rally in the ninth, pitching around two hits. Cordero set a new club record with his 40th save, surpassing a mark held by two others.

"It's nice, but I'm not here for a record," Cordero said. "What we're trying to do is go to the playoffs and win the division. It's really nice to get 40 saves and be the only one (in club history), but it's not what I'm looking for."

Backe fared admirably, surrendering four runs - three earned - on eight hits over 5 2/3 frames. It was his first showing in the majors since he had surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow almost exactly one year ago.

"It's just an average outing, I guess, to me," Backe said. "It definitely didn't go the way I dreamt it would go. Every time I go out there, I think I can go seven innings and give up two runs, but that's obviously not going to happen every time. I'm not upset, but I'm not pleased as well."






  • 5
    roots
    lopez73193 Added 5 roots

    Astros vs. BrewersSep 5 9:34 PM


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

    BATTERIES: HOU - BRANDON BACKE, BRIAN MOEHLER (6TH), MARK MCLEMORE (8TH) AND
    ERIC MUNSON
    MIL - CARLOS VILLANUEVA, SCOTT LINEBRINK (7TH), BRIAN
    SHOUSE (8TH), FRANCISCO CORDERO

    Sep 4 10:52 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JOHNNY ESTRADA SCORED RYAN BRAUN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G JENKINS ON FIRST, P FIELDER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3
    MILWAUKEE 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: J HARDY (.276, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Astros vs. BrewersSep 4 10:31 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED HUNTER PENCE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C LEE ON FIRST, C BURKE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3
    MILWAUKEE 4 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.271, 0-FOR-3)

    Astros vs. BrewersSep 4 10:15 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED ERIC MUNSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H PENCE ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    MILWAUKEE 4 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C BURKE (.223, 1-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Astros vs. BrewersSep 4 10:08 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GEOFF JENKINS SCORED COREY HART.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G JENKINS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1
    MILWAUKEE 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: J ESTRADA (.281, 0-FOR-2)

    Astros vs. BrewersSep 4 9:35 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY COREY HART SCORED GABE GROSS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C HART ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1
    MILWAUKEE 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: G JENKINS (.263, 1-FOR-2)

    Astros vs. BrewersSep 4 9:34 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CHRIS BURKE (5) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    3RD OFF CARLOS VILLANUEVA.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1, MILWAUKEE 2
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L BERKMAN (.277, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros vs. BrewersSep 4 8:46 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY LANCE BERKMAN ALLOWED CARLOS VILLANUEVA TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G GROSS ON SECOND, R WEEKS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    MILWAUKEE 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: R BRAUN (.334, 1-FOR-1, HR, RBI)

    Astros vs. BrewersSep 4 8:40 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RYAN BRAUN (27) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    1ST OFF BRANDON BACKE.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0, MILWAUKEE 1
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: P FIELDER (.283, 40 HR, 99 RBI)

    Astros vs. BrewersSep 4 8:17 PM