Corey Hart hit two of Milwaukee’s season-high five home runs and the Brewers snapped a five-game losing streak at Minute Maid Park with a 10-6 win Wednesday night over the Astros.
In the seventh inning, catcher Brad Ausmus and manager Cecil Cooper were ejected for arguing separate calls with first-base umpire Angel Campos.
The Brewers led 7-6 when Mike Cameron was facing reliever Chris Sampson and checked his swing on a 2-2 pitch. Ausmus pointed down to Campos for an appeal— Campos ruled that Cameron had stopped his swing in time.
Angered by the call, Ausmus yelled at Campos as he walked down the first-base line. Cooper intervened, but Ausmus was thrown out and replaced by Humberto Quintero.
Ausmus said Campos threw him out for yelling at him from home plate.
“It’s not a rule,” Ausmus said. “He certainly had due cause to toss me, but I had due cause to argue and I think the replay backs me up.”
Cameron walked and moments later, Sampson threw to Lance Berkman at first for a close pickoff attempt. Campos ruled him safe and as Berkman argued, Cooper came out of the dugout again.
Cooper was ejected and slammed his cap at Campos’ feet. It was Cooper’s fourth ejection of the season and the second time he’d been thrown out by Campos.
“Just blown calls,” Cooper said. “He said, in my case, I threw my hat down and hit him. And I’m gone.”
Crew chief Wally Bell, the third-base umpire, said Cooper was ejected before he threw his hat down. Bell wouldn’t specify what words Cooper used to get thrown out.
“Let’s just say he said something he shouldn’t have said,” Bell said.
The Astros had more than an umpire to blame for this loss.
Brandon Backe (4-8) gave up three of the Brewers’ homers—to Russell Branyan, Cameron and Hart. Jason Kendall added a two-run shot in the fifth off Tim Byrdak and Hart connected again off Chris Sampson in the eighth.
The Brewers ranked sixth in the NL in home runs coming into the game after leading the majors last season.
“This year has been a little different,” Hart said. “We’ve managed to win games in other ways.”
The Astros led 3-1 after Tejada and Lee hit solo homers in the third off Manny Parra (5-2).
Branyan and Cameron hit back-to-back homers in the fourth inning to tie the game. Kendall then doubled into the left-field corner and one out later, Hart homered off the brick facade in left to put the Brewers up 5-3.
Mark Loretta pinch-hit for Backe in the Houston fourth, ending the pitcher’s shortest home start of the season. Backe gave up seven hits and two walks with a pair of strikeouts.
“Just look at the numbers. Pretty bad,” Backe said. “I just didn’t get it done today.”
Byrdak relieved Backe and walked Cameron with two outs in the fifth. Kendall followed with a two-run homer to left, his first since he signed with Milwaukee as a free agent last November.
The Astros scored three times in the sixth to close within 7-6.
Parra hit Lance Berkman with a pitch and Lee had an RBI double. Lee overran second, though, and was tagged out. The mistake cost the Astros a run because Wigginton followed with his fourth home run.
Parra allowed 10 hits, but Milwaukee manager Ned Yost liked what he saw from the 25-year-old left-hander.
“He’s got so much room for growth,” Yost said. “He’s trusting his stuff and attacking.”
The Astros have been plagued by mental errors during their recent slump.
“We played, if you want to be truthful, some bad baseball the last two weeks,” Cooper said.
Hart’s home run in the eighth put Milwaukee up 9-6 and Prince Fielder added an RBI single later in the inning.
Brewers SS J.J. Hardy left in the sixth inning with what team officials called an “irritation in his left shoulder.” … The Brewers hit back-to-back home runs for the fifth time this season. … Members of the NFL’s Houston Texans took batting practice before the game to raise money for charity. OT Eric Winston hit a few home runs into the upper deck in right field, drawing gasps from fans and applause from some of the Astros.