Brewers 2, Astros 1

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MILWAUKEE (AP)—Keith Ginter made sure Ben Sheets exited with a chance to get the win.

Batting for the Milwaukee starter, Ginter hit a pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning Thursday night to lift the Milwaukee Brewers over the Houston Astros 2-1.

“All I was trying to do was to get on base,” Ginter said. “I was trying to lead off the inning kind of like a leadoff batter—get on base any way I could.”

The homer off Ron Villone was Ginter’s seventh of the season.

“You get one shot after you sit there all night long,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “You get one shot to go up there and be successful. It’s hard enough to hit when you get four at-bats a night.”

Sheets (9-7) won for the third time in his last four decisions. He allowed one run on five hits in seven innings as Milwaukee won for the sixth time in seven games.

Leo Estrella pitched the ninth for his third save in four opportunities.

“Sheets was great all night long,” Yost said. “He mixed up everything well. His last three or four starts were like that.”

Villone (2-1) had won his last two starts as Houston scored 20 runs.

But the Astros lost for just the third time in their last 15 games as Villone allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits in seven innings. He walked six batters, one shy of a career high.

“We have to score more than one run,” Houston’s Jeff Bagwell said. “That’s the bottom line.”

Milwaukee took a 1-0 lead in the second. Brady Clark led off and reached on an error by shortstop Adam Everett, then scored on a double by Wes Helms.

Houston, which had just three hits in the first six innings, tied it in the seventh. Jeff Kent led off with a single and took third on Lance Berkman’s single. Richard Hidalgo followed with a sacrifice fly.

“Sheets pitched a very good game,” Houston manager Jimy Williams said. “We only had a couple of chances to score.”

Sheets got out of a bases-loaded jam with one out in the fourth, helped by some shaky baserunning by the Astros.

Brian Hunter led off with a bunt single. With one out, Bagwell doubled off the wall in right-center, but Hunter slowed up on his way to third after appearing to think it was a home run.

Kent walked to load the bases, but Sheets got Berkman to pop out and Hidalgoto ground out.


After the game, Milwaukee optioned LHP Shane Nance to Triple-A Indianapolis and recalled RHP Wes Obermueller. … Sheets owns a five-game winning streak against Houston dating to June 29, 2001. … Sheets has pitched at least five innings in all 23 starts this season. … Ginter has two of Milwaukee’s three pinch-hit homers this season. His other one came June 25 at Chicago. … Houston finished its road trip with a 6-2 record. … The Astros are in a stretch of 24 consecutive games against NL Central opponents and are14-7 so far. … Milwaukee begins a 10-game road trip Friday night.

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