Astros 13, Brewers 7

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MILWAUKEE (AP)—The Milwaukee Brewers didn’t exactly catch a break by not having to face Roger Clemens or Andy Pettitte this weekend.

Right-hander Wade Miller befuddled them anew in Milwaukee’s home opener, pitching six solid innings in the Houston Astros’ 13-7 win Friday.

Miller allowed two earned runs and four hits in improving to 11-1 against Milwaukee.

“It was fun obviously with the run (support). You can’t ask for anything more than that,” Miller said. “I didn’t feel that great today, but I threw the ball where I wanted to for the most part. I feel I had decent stuff.”

Miller always looks on top of his game at Miller Park, where he is 6-0 with a 1.08 ERA.

“I didn’t have a real good fastball, but I was able to spot it where I wanted to. And I had a good breaking ball, so that helped,” Miller said.

Miller has no explanation for his success against Milwaukee. He tries not to think about that, especially because the Brewers revamped their lineup this season.

His teammates can’t decipher his dominance, either. They just know for some reason he’s unbeatable in Brew Town.

“I’m glad that for his first start it was going to be here,” Jeff Bagwell said.

Bagwell went 4-for-5 with five RBIs, including his sixth career grand slam, and scored three times. He had a chance at another grand slam when he came up in the ninth inning but he struck out looking on a pitch he thought was ball four.

Richard Hidalgo added four RBIs for the Astros, who scored nine times in the sixth inning in a game that began with a little more buzz than usual after the Brewers had won three of four in St. Louis to start the season.

“That doesn’t happen very often, a nine-run inning. That was nice,” said Bagwell, who started the big inning with a leadoff double and scored on Hidalgo’s two-run double just over third baseman Wes Helms’ outstretched glove.

That broke a 2-2 tie and chased Wes Obermueller, who got to start the home opener despite his excitability.

Milwaukee manager Ned Yost thought about switching Obermueller and No. 4 starter Chris Capuano but decided against it because Obermueller won in a pressure-packed start at Houston last Sept. 27 to eliminate the Astros from the playoff race.

Obermueller gave up single runs in the second and third when he was trying to calm his nerves in front of 44,405, the second-biggest crowd in Miller Park’s history.

He said he was gassed in the sixth after attempting to steal second following his single off Miller the inning before. He had to return to first when the pitch was fouled off.

“Going into that sixth inning I don’t think I regained my breath and I kind of got winded a little bit,” Obermueller said. “I’ll obviously learn from that.”

Obermueller used to be a shortstop in the minors but he never was much of a base-stealing threat: “No, I think that’s why I pitch.”

Yost said he was proud that Obermueller mostly kept his composure.

Ben Ford is the one Yost should have been worried about.

Ford replaced Obermueller and failed to retire any of the five batters he faced, allowing two walks and two RBI singles and leaving the bases loaded for Brooks Kieschnick, whom Bagwell greeted with his second homer of the season and first grand slam since May 21, 2001, against San Diego. Ford was charged with five earned runs.

“The game was great up to that point,” Yost said. “We didn’t get the job done coming out of the ‘pen. But seven runs ought to be enough runs to win a ballgame.”

Bagwell also had an RBI single in the third that made it 2-0. Lance Berkman’s first hit, a double leading off the second, led to the Astros’ first run on Brad Ausmus’ groundout.

The Brewers tied it in the fourth when Geoff Jenkins had a run-scoring single with two outs and scored on Lyle Overbay’s double.

Milwaukee scored twice in the seventh off Jared Fernandez, but the Astros got the runs back on Hidalgo’s two-run single off Adrian Hernandez in the eighth. Overbay and Gary Bennett homered off Brandon Duckworth in a three-runeighth.

Notes

The Brewers had never given up so many runs in 34 previous home openers. … A moment of silence was observed for Warren Spahn, former Milwaukee Braves announcer Earl Gillespie and former Brewers manager GeorgeBamberger, who all died since Milwaukee’s last home game.

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