Brewers 8, Astros 0
Obermueller (6-8) pitched a six-hitter for his first career shutout, leading the last-place Milwaukee Brewers to an 8-0 victory Saturday.
With Chicago’s 4-3 loss to the New York Mets in 11 innings, Houston remained 2 1/2 games behind the Cubs. The Astros only have seven games left, while the Cubs have eight.
“This could be the season,” Houston starter Pete Munro said. “It’s a tough loss to take. We just ran into the wrong team at the wrong time.”
Obermueller struck out three, walked one and retired the final 13 batters he faced in his first career complete game. He also had two singles and scored a run.
“We know what they have at stake, so there’s a little more fire there,” he said.
Obermueller appreciated getting the opportunity from manager Ned Yost to finish the game.
“It was just awesome to go out there in the ninth inning when Ned said, `It’s your game. Go get ‘em!”’
Munro (4-7) gave up three runs—two earned—and five hits in four innings.
“Pete did a fine job,” Houston manager Phil Garner said. “It wasn’t Pete’s pitching. It was our offense.”
Obermueller lowered his ERA to 5.86 from 6.35, and is 3-3 since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Aug. 7.
Yost said the right-hander made progress during the season, noting that the 27-year-old did not start pitching until his senior year in college.
“His consistency has improved over the second half this year,” he said. “With Wes, you know it’s going to be a learning process because he’s a young pitcher in experience. It’s not like the kid has been pitching his whole life.”
Russell Branyan homered, doubled and drove in three runs and Keith Ginter also hit a home run for the Brewers, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
“We scored early for Wes, took some pressure off him in a big game and we were able to pile on some runs,” Branyan said.
Branyan hit his 11th homer in the second to give Milwaukee a 1-0 lead, and Dave Krynzel’s RBI single in the third the Brewers made it 2-0 in the third on .
Milwaukee sent eight to the plate in the fifth and scored four runs. With one out, Scott Podsednik singled off reliever Tim Redding and stole second and third, giving him a major league-leading 64 stolen bases.
Krynzel walked and Lyle Overbay singled, scoring both runners for a 5-0 lead.
Houston had its best chance in the fifth, but failed to score. With two outs and runners at first and second, Obermueller got Lance Berkman to ground out.
“That was a big out for him, for sure,” Yost said. “I’m not sure, that in the beginning of the year, that he would have gone after him as aggressively.”
Ginter hit his 15th homer in the seventh.
Obermueller’s best previous start came on Sept. 27, 2003, when he limited the Astros to two runs in eight innings in Milwaukee’s 5-2 victory. That loss eliminated the Astros last year. … The Brewers are 7-13 in Obermueller’s 20 starts. … The Brewers will be involved in a marquee pitching matchup Monday at Arizona. The game between the two worst teams in the NL will feature Milwaukee’s Ben Sheets against Randy Johnson.
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