Astros 6, Brewers 5, 10 innings

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HOUSTON (AP)—Gregg Zaun recalled some good advice before he beat the Milwaukee Brewers.

Zaun’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the 10th inning rallied the Houston Astros to a 6-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

“When I was a very young player, Frank Robinson told me when you go up in those situations you’re not the one in trouble, (the pitcher) is,” Zaun said. “That’s always stayed with me. So when I got up there, there’s no more anxiety than any other time.”

After Houston closer Billy Wagner couldn’t hold a 4-3 lead in the top of the ninth inning, the Astros tied it at 5 in the bottom half on Geoff Blum’s solo homer off Mike DeJean.

“It’s been a while since I hit a ball well enough to go over any fence,” Blum said. “Nothing has been easy for us.”

Houston’s Morgan Ensberg then led off the 10th with a double down the left-field line and went to third on a passed ball by Keith Osik.

DeJean (2-6) intentionally walked Brad Ausmus and Adam Everett to load the bases before Zaun hit a high fly to the right field corner. Ensberg easily beat right fielder Brady Clark’s throw to the plate, scoring the winning running standing up.

“I was not being perfect enough,” DeJean said. “I was trying to get the ball to sink to a spot and it was not sinking. Sometimes, when it’s not sinking, you have to find another way to get them out.

“Zaun is a veteran. You know he’s going to battle and try to get the ball into the outfield. I just didn’t get the ball down enough.”

Ricky Stone (5-2) pitched a perfect 10th for the victory.

The Brewers went ahead with two runs off Wagner in the ninth. Eric Young hit a solo homer with one out to tie the game. Scott Podsednik walked, Geoff Jenkins singled and Richie Sexson walked to load the bases with one out. Wagner then hit Wes Helms with a pitch to force in the go-ahead run with two outs.

Richard Hidalgo had his first multihomer game of the season and eighth of his career for Houston. He hit a solo in the sixth and a two-run shot that gave Houston a 4-3 lead in the seventh.

With the Astros trailing 3-2 in the seventh, Dan Kolb walked Jeff Bagwell with one out and then struck out Lance Berkman. Hidalgo then hit a 3-2 pitch over the left-field fence to make it 4-3 lead.

“I put a good swing on the ball. I was just trying to get a hit but I was swinging pretty good tonight so it went out,” Hidalgo said. “This was one of my best games this year.”

The Astros got one run off Ben Sheets in the third on an RBI single by Lance Berkman and the Brewers tied it in the fourth Sexson’s triple. The Brewers went up 3-1 in the sixth on John Vander Wal’s RBI double and Helms’ run-scoring single.

“It was a slow start but it was a blazing finish,” Astros manager Jimy Williams said. “The last four innings, a lot of things happened, particularly for whoever was at bat. Hidalgo had a heck of a game. He was really big for us.”

Sheets allowed two runs and six hits in six innings.

“We’re playing hard, we’re right there in every game,” Sheets said. “We don’t give up. I like our team. We have a lot of heart.”

Houston starter Wade Miller allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings.

Sexson’s triple that tied the score in the fourth, hit the flag pole that is in play on the hill in deep center field, tying the game at 1. It was the first time a fly ball struck the flag pole since Minute Maid Park opened in 2000.

“Our guys continue to battle,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “This is a good test to see what happens from now on. This was a tough loss but theyhaven’t quit yet. They continued to play hard.”

Notes

Houston RHP Roy Oswalt threw 50 pitches, 34 for strikes, in a rehab assignment at Triple-A New Orleans. He allowed one earned run, struck out two and didn’t allow a walk. Oswalt has been on the disabled list since June 12 with a strained right groin. … The Astros won last year’s series with Milwaukee 10-8. … New Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy was a guest of Astrosowner Drayton McLane.

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