HOUSTON -- A late power surge supplied by Rickie Weeks and Aramis Ramirez lifted the Milwaukee Brewers' stagnant offense in their 3-1 victory over the Houston Astros Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.
Silenced by Astros left-hander Erik Bedard, the Brewers (29-41) jumped on right-handed reliever Hector Ambriz (1-4) instead, with Weeks turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead with his two-run home run in the eighth inning. Ramirez followed with a solo shot leading off the ninth.
Weeks fell into a 0-2 hole and barely kept his at-bat alive when Astros catcher Jason Castro failed to corral a foul tip that squirted out of his glove. Weeks followed by bashing his sixth home run out to left field.
Ramirez provided Brewers right-hander Francisco Rodriguez with an insurance run with his fourth home run. Rodriguez recorded his fifth save in five save opportunities by pitching around two hits in the ninth.
The Astros (27-46) were victimized by shoddy base running, with shortstop Ronny Cedeno picked off first base in the fifth and Castro erased attempting to steal second base for the final out of the eighth.
It wasn't until the sixth inning that Bedard allowed consecutive batters to reach base, doing so by surrendering two-out singles to Weeks and Jean Segura. Bedard snuffed that threat by inducing a groundout from Carlos Gomez, an expected result given the relative ease with which he tore through the Milwaukee order.
Bedard faced the minimum through three innings and, after walking Gomez with two outs in the fourth, immediately retired Ramirez on a grounder to third.
Bedard's counterpart, Brewers right-hander Kyle Lohse, required more elusiveness to keep the Astros in check. Houston grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first when J.D. Martinez lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, bringing Jose Altuve home from third, but Lohse repeatedly limited any more damage.
Houston managed five singles between the second and sixth innings but failed to convert that traffic into a bigger cushion. Lohse allowed one run, six hits and two walks before departing after six innings, but the Brewers remained in the game because of his craftiness and resilience under duress.
NOTES: The Astros signed the first overall pick in this month's draft, Stanford RHP Mark Appel. A native of Houston, Appeal reportedly signed for a bonus of $6.35 million and will report to short-season Class A Tri-City of the New York-Penn League. ... Brewers OF Norichika Aoki was placed on paternity leave and returned to Milwaukee to witness the birth of his second child. Aoki is expected to rejoin the club Friday in advance of a three-game home series with the Atlanta Braves at Miller Park. INF/OF Josh Prince was recalled from Triple-A Nashville to fill the void on the 25-man roster.