Weeks leads Brewers over Astros, 9-6

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Associated Press
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
— A good night quickly turned into a nightmare for Bud Norris and the Houston Astros on Tuesday.

Rickie Weeks capped a five-run sixth inning with a three-run homer one of four Brewers' homers in the game as Milwaukee beat Houston 9-6.

"I felt good, I was pitching well," Norris said. "Ran into one really bad inning and I felt I made a couple good pitches, a couple bad ones to a ball club that can hit the ball out of the yard. That's something I need to get better at and move on."

Corey Hart, Travis Ishikawa and Carlos Gomez also homered for Milwaukee, which moved back to .500 (9-9) and beat Houston for the 11th straight time. The Astros have lost eight of 10.

Norris (1-1) surrendered seven runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings with Weeks sending his 102nd and last pitch deep above the Brewers bullpen.

"Bud threw the ball real well," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "Shoot, his pitch count was down and he was throwing the ball well, and they got the seven runs off him via the long ball. Two two-run homers and the three-run blast, that's the one that hurt."

Randy Wolf (1-2) struggled over six innings, giving up four hits and four walks, and striking out four. Alex Gonzalez added three hits, including an RBI single in the seventh, for Milwaukee.

John Axford allowed a single in the ninth but picked up his fourth save and 47th straight dating to last season, tying him with Brad Lidge for the fourth-longest streak all-time. The streak started a year ago Tuesday against the Astros.

Milwaukee blew it open with a five-run sixth behind two home runs. Ramirez singled to start the inning, and Hart followed with a 435-foot homer into the camera box just below the center-field scoreboard. George Kottaras walked, and Gonzalez singled. Then, with two outs, the slumping Weeks homered. Weeks came in hitting .182 with two homers and just three RBIs.

Mills said he had no problem keeping Norris in as long as he did.

"His pitch count was down, he was throwing the ball well, his velocity was up," he said. "I think that the way he was throwing and the whole situation, we wanted him to try to get out of it."

Houston's Jose Altuve homered in the second to make it 1-0.

The Brewers made it 2-1 on Ishikawa's first homer of the season in the fifth. An RBI single by Carlos Lee in the sixth made it 2-2 before Milwaukee's five-run explosion.

The Astros closed the gap with three runs in the eighth on an RBI single by Chris Johnson, a sacrifice fly by Justin Maxwell and an RBI single by Jed Lowrie, but Francisco Rodriguez, after a wild pitch, got the final out of the inning, giving way to Axford.

Gomez led off the eighth with his homer, sprinting around the bases after it cleared the fence.

"Offensively, we were really good," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.

The Astros offense impressed Wolf.

"The Astros are going to be underestimated, and they shouldn't be," Wolf said. "They really give quality at-bats. They don't give away at-bats. They put good swings on balls, on tough pitches. As the season goes on, they are going to gain a lot of respect as far as their offense."

Ishikawa was starting for Mat Gamel, held out of Tuesday's game with a sore shoulder following a violent home plate collision with Houston catcher Jason Castro on Monday. On the play, Gamel, attempting to tag up on a short foul out down the right-field line, barreled into Castro, who fell back and slammed his head on the ground but hung onto the ball for the out.

The collision may have led up to some early game fireworks Tuesday.

Norris plunked Weeks on the first pitch of the game, hitting him on the back of the arm above the left elbow. Weeks said a few words to Norris as he walked slowly to first. At one point, home plate umpire Rob Drake, who walked with Weeks, looked at Weeks and shrugged his shoulders.

It wasn't clear if the pitch was on purpose, and Roenicke declined to comment on the potential intent after the game.

Said Norris: "It kind of got away from me. I'm going to go out there and stand up for my team. The umpires handled it professionally. I think Rickie handled it professionally."

Notes: Astros CF Jordan Schafer has reached base in all 18 games this season. . Brewers LHP Chris Narveson will have surgery on the torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder and miss the rest of the season, he said Tuesday. "I'll be ready for next year," he said before the game. "It's six to nine months." . RHP Kameron Loe was reinstated from the bereavement list on Tuesday and pitched 1 1-3 innings. Loe was placed on the list Saturday after the death of his grandfather.

Last updated: 8:04 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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