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Blum's tiebreaking homer lifts Astros past Brewers

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Associated Press
August 19, 2008
— Geoff Blum hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the sixth inning to help the Houston Astros beat Ben Sheets and the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 on Tuesday night.

Blum was hitless in nine at-bats before he hit a 1-2 pitch from Sheets (11-7) to right-center for his career-high 12th home run, giving the Astros their 10th win in 13 games. Houston is 14-5 in August.


Darin Erstad led off the sixth with a single and stole second. On the next pitch, Sheets hit Michael Bourn in the lower leg as he was squaring to bunt. Ty Wigginton then flied out before Lance Berkman struck out.


Houston's Brian Moehler (9-4) extended his winning streak to five games by allowing one earned run on nine hits in 5 1-3 innings. The right-hander struck out four and walked one to beat Milwaukee for the first time since Aug. 25, 2006. He was 0-3 in his last eight starts against the Brewers, including 0-2 this season.


Four relievers combined to shut down Milwaukee the rest of the way, including Jose Valverde, who pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in 38 attempts.


Sheets lost for the fourth time in his last five starts. The right-hander gave up five runs on five hits inn six innings. He struck out seven and walked one, as the Brewers snapped their five-game home winning streak.


Milwaukee played without Ryan Braun, who left the game in the sixth inning Monday with a strain around his lower ribcage. The left fielder, who also missed six games last week because of the injury, is day to day.


Braun's replacement, Gabe Kapler, was 0-for-4 and left the bases loaded on two different occasions.


Houston tied the score at 2 in the third. After singles by Humberto Quintero and Erstad, Bourn hit a two-out, two-run triple to right field.


Milwaukee took a 1-0 lead when Ray Durham led off the first with a single and scored on a double to right field by J.J. Hardy, who was thrown out trying to advance to third.


Craig Counsell led off the second and reached on an error when he popped up his bunt and Berkman dropped it for an error as he charged in from first base. Mike Cameron followed with a double for a 2-0 lead, but Kapler struck out with the bases loaded to end the inning.


Kapler also left the bases loaded in the fourth when he flied out to center.


Notes: Milwaukee manager Ned Yost celebrated his 54th birthday. Hardy turned 26 and teammate Chris Capuano, on the disabled list, turned 30. ... Houston's Felipe Paulino was examined by team medical director Dr. David Lintner on Tuesday, and the right-handed pitcher was diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder. He will begin a throwing program on flat ground and then move to the mound. Henry Winkler threw out the first pitch. A bronze statue of the TV star from "Happy Days" was unveiled in downtown Milwaukee earlier in the day.



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