Astros' five homers level Brewers
Tejada fulfilled his vow to the youngster by hitting the first of three straight Houston home runs in a 7-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Astros hit five homers in the game.
“I was so excited,” said Tejada, who’d never promised a home run before. “I know it’s hard to tell someone you’ll hit a home run and do it. But today when I went to lunch with this kid I wanted him to be happy. So I told him I’d do it.”
The Astros trailed 4-2 before Tejada’s two-run shot to left off starter Carlos Villanueva with one out in the sixth. Lance Berkman followed with his home run to almost the exact same spot in the left field Crawford Boxes to make it 5-4 and give Houston its first lead of the game.
Villanueva got a short visit on the mound from coaches after Berkman’s homer but remained in the game. Carlos Lee then completed the string of home runs and chased Villanueva with his own, also to left field.
It was the fifth time in franchise history Houston had hit three straight homers. The last time came on Aug. 31, 2004, when Berkman teamed with Carlos Beltran and Jeff Bagwell.
Hunter Pence added a pair of home runs for Houston, one in the fifth inning and another in the eighth, and Roy Oswalt (3-3) evened his record after a shaky start to the season by allowing six hits and three earned runs in six innings.
“My curveball still ain’t there all the time,” Oswalt said. “I threw some good sliders. Overall, I pitched good enough to win and they helped by scoring some runs.”
Tejada and several other Astros met with children Friday afternoon and hosted them at the game as part of an effort with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
“I am really happy to God for all he gives me and when I talked to that kid I just thought, ‘I’ve got to do something for the kid,”‘ said Tejada, who presented Jacob with an autographed bat af-
ter the game.
It was the first time the Astros have hit five home runs in a game since 2006.
Geoff Geary pitched a scoreless seventh and Doug Brocail did the same in the eighth for Houston.
Astros closer Jose Valverde hit Prince Fielder with a pitch to start the ninth before striking out Corey Hart. The Astros had a chance to end the inning when Bill Hall grounded to Kaz Matsui, but after tagging Fielder he threw the ball over Berkman’s head and into the stands for his third error of the night.
Valverde struck out J.J. Hardy to get his sixth save in nine opportunities.
Villanueva (1-3) retired the first 11 batters before a single by Tejada with two outs in the fourth inning. Villanueva got out of the inning on a pop fly by Berkman, but wound up allowing nine hits and six runs with four strikeouts in five innings.
“It’s kind of striking, those first four inning giving up one hit and then giving up eight hits,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “It just kind of snowballed. He got it up and he just didn’t make the necessary adjustments.”
The six runs Villanueva allowed were the most he’s given up since yielding six in five innings on June 30, 2006.
“I felt pretty good the first couple of innings,” he said. “I kept the ball down and was executing my game plan. After that I had poor pitch selection, especially in the fifth inning. I got the ball up and every time I did they hit it.”
Lee doubled to start the fifth before a home run to right field by Pence made it 4-2. Villanueva gave up two singles, but Michael Bourn grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Ryan Braun’s homer to right field scored Rickie Weeks and gave Milwaukee a 2-0 lead in the first. Weeks reached on an error by Matsui, then advanced on another one by the second baseman.
Mike Cameron’s home run to lead off the fifth pushed the lead to 3-0. An RBI single by Hardy scored Fielder later in the inning.