It certainly showed.
“Everyone just had a good approach against Roy,” Ginter said. “I think something is bothering him. He pitched a little different than he usually does. He started throwing more breaking balls.
“I don’t know if he was pitching through pain or what.”
Oswalt’s six earned runs were the most he has allowed since July 16, 2002. The nine hits allowed were also a season high, and he also hit two batters.
After the game, Oswalt, who has battled a rib injury this season, said he was fine, despite a visit to the mound by Houston manager Jimy Williams and the team trainer in the fourth.
“It was nothing,” he said. “I have been going through this for a while. Sometimes you have to battle through and learn how to pitch with what you’ve got. I did pretty good the first two innings, and it was pretty much downhill after that.”
Chris Capuano (2-2) returned from the disabled list and gave up four runs and four hits in five innings for the victory. Dan Kolb pitched a perfect ninth for his 17th save in 18 opportunities.
Houston’s Jeff Kent had his team-record 25-game hitting streak snapped after going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Oswalt (4-5) had beaten the Brewers twice this season, giving up just two runs in 15 innings. He was 7-3 lifetime against Milwaukee.
“He has pitched good against them before, and certainly is going to pitch good against them again,” Williams said. “Tonight was their night to beat him.”
With the Brewers trailing 4-1 in the fifth, Craig Counsell led off with a single and pinch-hitter Jeff Liefer doubled to right. Scott Podsednik then placed a drag bunt perfectly between Oswalt and first baseman Jeff Bagwell to score Counsell. Junior Spivey singled to right to drive in Liefer.
With two outs, Ginter doubled to right to score Podsednik and Spivey and give the Brewers a 5-4 lead. Ben Grieve followed with an RBI single.
Oswalt left after hitting Chad Moeller with a pitch, one of two batters he hit. Pete Gallo came in and walked Counsell to load the bases before striking out Liefer to end it.
The offense was more than enough for Milwaukee, which struggled to score for more than two weeks before taking two of three against Anaheim last week. The Brewers have scored 25 runs in their last three games.
“We go through these things every year with every team,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “They’re swinging the bats good against a very good pitcher. It makes them feel good, that they’re on the right track again.”
Ginter had even higher hopes.
“There is no telling what can happen from here,” he said.
Capuano, making only his fifth start of the season after being acquired in the offseason trade of Richie Sexson, hadn’t pitched since May 26 due to tightness in his left triceps. He missed a month before that with a quadriceps injury.
“I was a little bit rusty, threw a lot more balls than I wanted to,” Capuano said. “I battled well. I kept us in the game.”
Houston scored three times off Capuano in the fourth inning, all on a bases-loaded double by Jason Lane, who started in right field in place of the injured Richard Hidalgo. They were Lane’s first RBIs of the year in 43 at-bats.
Lyle Overbay added a homer to right in the seventh.
The Miller Park crowd of 40,223 on Scott Podsednik bobblehead night was the Brewers’ largest since opening day, when 44,405 saw Milwaukee lose 13-7 to the Astros. … Milwaukee reliever Matt Kinney left in the seventh with a blister on his right big toe. He’s day to day. … Astros SS Adam Everett recorded his 19th sacrifice bunt in the first inning, the most in a singleseason in the majors since Neifi Perez had 22 for Colorado in 1997.