MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Brewers didn't exactly catch a
Right-hander Wade Miller befuddled them anew in Milwaukee's home
opener, pitching six solid innings in the Houston Astros' 13-7 win
Miller allowed two earned runs and four hits in improving to
11-1 against Milwaukee.
"It was fun obviously with the run (support). You can't ask for
anything more than that," Miller said. "I didn't feel that great
today, but I threw the ball where I wanted to for the most part. I
feel I had decent stuff."
Miller always looks on top of his game at Miller Park, where he
is 6-0 with a 1.08 ERA.
"I didn't have a real good fastball, but I was able to spot it
where I wanted to. And I had a good breaking ball, so that
helped," Miller said.
Miller has no explanation for his success against Milwaukee. He
tries not to think about that, especially because the Brewers
revamped their lineup this season.
His teammates can't decipher his dominance, either. They just
know for some reason he's unbeatable in Brew Town.
"I'm glad that for his first start it was going to be here,"
Jeff Bagwell said.
Bagwell went 4-for-5 with five RBI, including his sixth career
grand slam, and scored three times. He had a chance at another
grand slam when he came up in the ninth inning but he struck out
looking on a pitch he thought was ball four.
Richard Hidalgo added four RBI for the Astros, who scored nine
times in the sixth inning in a game that began with a little more
buzz than usual after the Brewers had won three of four in St.
Louis to start the season.
"That doesn't happen very often, a nine-run inning. That was
nice," said Bagwell, who started the big inning with a leadoff
double and scored on Hidalgo's two-run double just over third
baseman Wes Helms' outstretched glove.
That broke a 2-2 tie and chased Wes Obermueller, who got to
start the home opener despite his excitability.
Milwaukee manager Ned Yost thought about switching Obermueller
and No. 4 starter Chris Capuano but decided against it because
Obermueller won in a pressure-packed start at Houston last Sept. 27
to eliminate the Astros from the playoff race.
Obermueller gave up single runs in the second and third when he
was trying to calm his nerves in front of 44,405, the
second-biggest crowd in Miller Park's history.
He said he was gassed in the sixth after attempting to steal
second following his single off Miller the inning before. He had to
return to first when the pitch was fouled off.
"Going into that sixth inning I don't think I regained my
breath and I kind of got winded a little bit," Obermueller said.
"I'll obviously learn from that."
Obermueller used to be a shortstop in the minors but he never
was much of a base-stealing threat: "No, I think that's why I
Yost said he was proud that Obermueller mostly kept his
Ben Ford is the one Yost should have been worried about.
Ford replaced Obermueller and failed to retire any of the five
batters he faced, allowing two walks and two RBI singles and
leaving the bases loaded for Brooks Kieschnick, whom Bagwell
greeted with his second homer of the season and first grand slam
since May 21, 2001, against San Diego. Ford was charged with five
"The game was great up to that point," Yost said. "We didn't
get the job done coming out of the 'pen. But seven runs ought to be
enough runs to win a ballgame."
Bagwell also had an RBI single in the third that made it 2-0.
Lance Berkman's first hit, a double leading off the second, led to
the Astros' first run on Brad Ausmus' groundout.
The Brewers tied it in the fourth when Geoff Jenkins had a
run-scoring single with two outs and scored on Lyle Overbay's
Milwaukee scored twice in the seventh off Jared Fernandez, but
the Astros got the runs back on Hidalgo's two-run single off Adrian
Hernandez in the eighth. Overbay and Gary Bennett homered off
Brandon Duckworth in a three-run eighth.Game notes
The Brewers had never given up so many runs in 34 previous
home openers. ... A moment of silence was observed for Warren
Spahn, former Milwaukee Braves announcer Earl Gillespie and former
Brewers manager George Bamberger, who all died since Milwaukee's
last home game.
- Home Plate Umpire - Paul Schrieber
- First Base Umpire - Ed Montague
- Second Base Umpire - Jerry Layne
- Third Base Umpire - Jerry Meals