for this game

Hall lifts Brewers over Astros, into first place

Jul 27, 2008 - 3:55 AM By J.R. Radcliffe PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Ryan Braun and Bill Hall have shown they know drama. Now, they know first place as well.

Continuing a string of wild comebacks, Braun hit a game-tying home run in the seventh, and Hall provided a go-ahead single in the eighth to lift the Milwaukee Brewers to a 6-4 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday.

The heroics deadlocked the Brewers (60-44) with the Chicago Cubs (60-44) atop the National League Central Division and in the race for the best record in the NL. The Cubs dropped a 3-2, 12-inning decision to the Florida Marlins earlier Saturday.

Chicago pays Milwaukee a visit for the first of a four-game series Monday.

"We've got to take care of our business and, when the Cubs come in here Monday, we'll worry about them," Hall said. "We can't think about it before it gets here."

Braun, who hit ninth-inning homers Wednesday and Thursday in St. Louis - the latter serving as a game-winning blast - took Geoff Geary deep to center with two outs to knot the score at 4-4.

Hall, who hit game-winning home runs against the Cardinals on Monday and Tuesday, then blooped a shot to right-center field against Doug Brocail (4-5), chasing home All-Star Corey Hart with the go-ahead run. Jason Kendall added an RBI groundout to score Hall for some insurance.

"Everybody wants to be up there late in the ballgame with an opportunity to do something great for the team," Hall said. "Especially when you've had success in the past, it makes it a lot easier, because you have a lot of confidence going up there.

"I've had a lot of success in late innings. I was just trying to get (Hart) to third. If he had hit a single, I would have been bunting. He hit the double, and (Brewers manager Ned Yost) told me to swing away."

Eric Gagne (4-2) worked a perfect eighth inning for the win, and Salomon Torres earned his 20th save after negotiating the ninth.

Carlos Lee launched a two-run homer to left against Brewers starter Dave Bush in the fourth inning, and Hunter Pence added his own shot two batters later to give Houston a 3-2 lead.

"Any pitcher that throws with any type of velocity ? you have to look for the fastball because if you look for an off-speed pitch, you won't be able to adjust to the fastball," said Braun, who finished with four RBI. "Hopefully, it's an off-speed pitch somewhere over the middle of the plate."

Lance Berkman drove home another with an RBI single, giving the Astros a two-run advantage that held until Braun's shot in the seventh.

Houston starter Brandon Backe held down the fort in the meantime, allowing two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings, but he left with a no decision.

"Seemed like we had (the bullpen) in the right situation," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "We want to get Geary through the seventh and then Brocail in the eighth, and then go to (closer Jose Valverde) in the ninth. We had it set up."

Bush, now part of an unusual platoon for the fifth starter's spot in which he starts at home and Seth McClung gets the nod on the road, was not impressive in his first appearance since the strategy was announced. Bush did not walk a batter but allowed four runs and nine hits in five innings with five strikeouts.

"My goal is to do more than keep it respectable," Bush said. "As a starter, you're selling yourself short if all you're trying to do is keep it close. We go out there to pitch deep into the game and win the game."

Bush had not seen game action since July 10.

"Ordinarily, we have bullpen sessions in the afternoon but, when I'm in the bullpen, I have to do it after the games, which I've done three times since the All-Star Game," Bush said. "I'm not sure what the best way to do it is, but we'll try a couple things and see what works best."

Ray Durham collected his first two hits since being traded to Milwaukee from the San Francisco Giants last week. He doubled leading off the first and third innings and trotted home on Braun's sacrifice flies both times. He scored his third run of the game on Braun's homer.

"(San Francisco manager Bruce) Bochy said he hits good pitching, and there's something to be said about that," Yost said. "Guys that hit good pitching, they're special. He does have some lightning in his bat."

Shortstop Miguel Tejada, batting in the two-hole for the first time this year, went 4-for-4 for Houston, which fell victim to Milwaukee's major league-leading 20th win in final at-bat.

"I think we've got a bunch of guys that are capable of doing that," Yost said of late heroics. "They're just talented. That's what happens when you get talented players. They're tough outs; they're hard outs. Big occasion, small occasion, they're tough."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 4 14 0
    MILWAUKEE 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 2 x 6 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: HOU - BRANDON BACKE, GEOFF GEARY (6TH), DOUG BROCAIL (8TH) AND
    HUMBERTO QUINTERO
    MIL - DAVE BUSH, GUILLERMO MOTA (6TH), DAVID RISKE
    (7TH), ERIC GAGNE (8TH), SALOMO

    Jul 26 10:11 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JASON KENDALL SCORED BILL HALL.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 4
    MILWAUKEE 6 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: G KAPLER (.303, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 4, Brewers 6  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 26 10:03 PM
  • 5
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    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots

    Astros 4, Brewers 6  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 26 10:03 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BILL HALL SCORED COREY HART.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B HALL ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 4
    MILWAUKEE 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: E GAGNE (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Astros 4, Brewers 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 26 9:55 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 71 roots (Close Finish)

    Astros 4, Brewers 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 26 9:55 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN BRAUN (27) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF GEOFF GEARY SCORED RAY DURHAM.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 4, MILWAUKEE 4
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: P FIELDER (.275, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Astros 4, Brewers 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 26 9:42 PM
  • 111
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    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Astros 4, Brewers 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 26 9:42 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 34 roots

    Astros 4, Brewers 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 26 8:35 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED KAZ MATSUI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L BERKMAN ON FIRST, M TEJADA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 4
    MILWAUKEE 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.307, 1-FOR-2, HR, 2 RBI)

    Astros 4, Brewers 2  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 26 8:32 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY HUNTER PENCE (13) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF DAVE BUSH.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3, MILWAUKEE 2
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M BOURN (.226, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 3, Brewers 2  Top 4, 0 OutsJul 26 8:10 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY CARLOS LEE (23) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF DAVE BUSH SCORED MIGUEL TEJADA.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2, MILWAUKEE 2
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: G BLUM (.222, 1-FOR-1)

    Astros 2, Brewers 2  Top 4, 0 OutsJul 26 8:06 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY RYAN BRAUN SCORED RAY DURHAM.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    MILWAUKEE 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: P FIELDER (.277, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Astros 0, Brewers 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 26 7:55 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY RYAN BRAUN SCORED RAY DURHAM.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    MILWAUKEE 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: P FIELDER (.277, 20 HR, 58 RBI)

    Astros 0, Brewers 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 26 7:26 PM
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    Pasta2000 Added 5 roots

    Astros vs. BrewersApr 10 2:28 PM