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Brewers rally, but lose in 10 to Astros

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COLIN FLY
April 24, 2011
— Sean Green and the Milwaukee Brewers had all the momentum on their side headed into extra innings despite a big baserunning gaffe.

Green gave it all back to the Astros.


The reliever allowed a two-out, two-run double in the 10th inning to Humberto Quintero and the Brewers lost 9-6 to Houston after rallying from a three-run deficit Saturday night.


"I made bad pitches and paid for it," Green said. "We kept fighting back, got back into it. It's tough to lose that way. Momentum was definitely going our way."


Houston snapped a four-game losing streak at Miller Park and won its first game when allowing four runs or more this season. It certainly wasn't easy, though.


Brandon Lyon (1-1) and the Astros bullpen blew another lead, but Quintero picked the group back up.


Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer in the seventh to extend his streak of reaching base safely to 20 games and tied the game with a hard slide into Quintero in the ninth.


Prince Fielder added two RBIs to give him an NL-best 21, but it wasn't enough.


"We battled back, we did a great job of battling back. We were a base hit away from winning the ballgame," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I was happy with the way we came back. It's a tough game to lose."


It'll also be tough to review the mistakes late.


Green allowed a double to Brett Wallace with one out in the 10th and intentionally walked Bill Hall.


With two outs, Quintero hit a soaring drive over drawn-in center fielder Carlos Gomez that bounced over the wall to score two. Lyon hit for himself, and drove in another run with his first major league hit, a double that dribbled down the third-base line to make it 9-6.


Lyon worked a 1-2-3 10th inning to seal it.


Milwaukee rallied in the ninth when Braun singled with one out off Lyon, then scored on Fielder's double in the right-field corner. Braun slid hard into Quintero at the plate, beating the tag.


Down 6-5 in the eighth, Milwaukee let Houston get out of a major jam when Wallace, the first baseman, collided with reliever Mark Melancon on a bunt that put runners on the corners with no outs.


"That eighth inning, it almost looked like a bomb went off someplace in the infield," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "There were bodies laying everywhere, but the guys did a good job of working through those things."


Instead, Milwaukee nearly hit into a triple play because of a pair of baserunning gaffes.


Pinch-hitter Erick Almonte's chopper to third caused Yuniesky Betancourt to stop halfway home.


As he was in the process of being run down and tagged out, Lucroy was leaning too far off second and got caught in a run down himself for a 5-2-6-4-2 double play. After Quintero tagged Lucroy, he fired to Wallace at first, who would've tagged Almonte out if he'd held on to the ball.


"I was just trying to be aggressive and go to third. But in hindsight it was stupid, I should have stayed at second. I would have been in scoring position anyway," Lucroy said. "I was just trying to be aggressive and I got caught in the middle. It was just a mistake."


Betancourt was also partly at fault, waving for Lucroy to get to third but not being able to keep from being tagged.


"He's taught when he's going to be out at home he's got to stay in a rundown because you end up first and third and you're no worse off," Roenicke said.


Notes: Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks (sprained left pinkie) wasn't in the starting lineup. He expects to return Sunday. ... Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo hit his ninth homer in 177th career at-bat on Friday night. He's the fastest pitcher to reach nine career home runs since Don Drysdale did it in 144 at-bats in 1958, according to Elias. ... The Brewers signed INF Luis Figueroa to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Nashville. ... Mills said RHP Nelson Figueroa (0-3, 8.55 ERA) remains part of the starting rotation despite his slow start.



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