Astros snap Brewers’ 8-game winning streak

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MILWAUKEE (AP)—Wandy Rodriguez gave up only one run to the Milwaukee Brewers over six innings. Houston’s bullpen was even better the rest of the way.

Rodriguez dominated the Milwaukee’s potent lineup before turning it over to the bullpen, and Houston snapped the Brewers’ eight-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory Friday night.

Christopher Sampson pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief and Wesley Wright retired Prince Fielder, the only batter he faced. Jose Valverde finished for his 26th save in 32 chances as the Brewers’ club record of 20 consecutive games with a homer ended.

Rodriguez, Sampson, Wright and Valverde combined to strand six of seven runners in scoring position and after the third inning allowed only JJ Hardy’s double in the eighth and Corey Hart’s in the ninth.

“Well, that’s what it’s about,” Astros manager Cecil Cooper said of his pitching staff. “If you can do that to a good hitting team, you’re doing some big time pitching. That’s what we got tonight.”

Houston also got timely hitting.

Sacrifice flies by pinch hitter Mark Loretta and Kazuo Matsui, and Lance Berkman’s RBI single ended the Brewers’ shot at winning nine in a row for the first time since taking 10 straight from Aug. 19-28, 2003.

The loss also cost Milwaukee (59-44) a chance at moving into a tie for first with the Chicago Cubs (60-43) in the NL Central. The Cubs lost to the Florida Marlins, 3-2.

Rodriguez (6-3) helped the Astros snap a four-game losing streak in his first start this season against Milwaukee. Houston’s last win was his on Saturday, when he held the Cubs to one run in 6 2-3 innings of a 4-1 victory.

“He’s pitched very well against us over the last two years,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “He does a nice job when he’s on his game, and he was on his game today.”

Rodriguez also cooled off Ryan Braun, whose two-run homer in the top of the ninth Thursday capped his second straight four-hit game and lifted Milwaukee to a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Braun was 0-for-3 with a walk after reaching base in nine straight plate appearances and going 14-for-29 on the Brewers’ perfect seven-game trip through San Francisco and St. Louis.

Milwaukee opened a seven-game homestand with plenty of momentum, but Rodriguez ground them to a halt with his first victory in his last six starts at Miller Park.

The Astros chased Manny Parra (9-3) in the seventh and took a 3-1 lead.

Houston loaded the bases on a walk, infield hit and a fielder’s choice when catcher Jason Kendall’s throw to third after grabbing Humberto Quintero’s sacrifice was high and late.

Reliever David Riske came on and Loretta, hitting for Rodriquez, flied to center. Hunter Pence advanced on the play and came home on Matsui’s fly to the warning track in left, and Quintero scored on Berkman’s hit.

“There was a walk, an infield hit and then we tried to make a play at third on the bunt play and it got us in trouble,” Yost said.

Parra allowed three runs on eight hits, walked two and struck out five. He hadn’t lost since the Astros beat him 6-2 in Houston on May 3, a span of 15 starts.

Corey Hart saved Parra and the Brewers from trouble in the sixth.

An infield single by Matsui, a sacrifice and walk put runners at first and second. Carlos Lee hit a sharp line drive to Hart in right, and his one-hop throw easily nailed Matsui at the plate. Miguel Tejada grounded out to end the inning.

Houston had runners at the corners in the fourth and one out, but Lee and Tejada both struck out.

“I kind of felt like we would continue to get some opportunities,” Cooper said. “We had two there that we had a little misfire on. One where the runner got thrown out at the plate and the other one we didn’t deliver any hits.”

Hart led off the second with a single, advanced on a balk and scored Milwaukee’s lone run on Mike Cameron’s double. Rickie Weeks had the other hit off Rodriguez.

“They played a little bit better than we did,” Cameron said. “They limited our chances and capitalized on their opportunities.”


Lee’s single in the second extended his hitting strike to 10 games. … The Astros agreed to terms with eighth-round draft pick Brad Dydalewicz, a left-hander from Lake Travis (Texas) High School. They now have 30 of the 52 players selected in the draft under contract. … A crowd of 41,357 gave the Brewers their fifth consecutive sellout and 21st of the season. … The Astros are 7-36 on the season when they score less than four runs.

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