MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Morgan Ensberg and the Houston hitters made
sure ace Roy Oswalt's struggles wouldn't hurt the Astros.
Ensberg homered and capped a six-run fourth inning with a
two-run single and Oswalt notched his first victory since Opening
Day as Houston beat Milwaukee 11-5 Friday night.
Oswalt (2-1) gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings
and has allowed 14 runs -- nine earned -- his past two starts.
Houston didn't need him to be sharp, though. A day after losing 4-2
to Milwaukee, the Astros had a season-high 17 hits, with every
starting position player getting at least one hit.
"We have guys who are off to a really good start," Ensberg
said. "When you have hitters like we do, it tends to put a lot of
pressure on opposing pitchers."
hitting his seventh homer of the year for a 1-0 lead. By the time
the inning was over, the Astros had a 6-0 lead.
"I made some bad pitches," Rusch said. "It's a recipe for
disaster when you're not making good pitches."
Milwaukee cut it to 6-5, but Houston scored the final five runs.
"It was a good day," said Craig Biggio, who hit his 200th
career homer in the eighth inning for Houston. "We got some hits
and runs, they battled back and then we were able to get more runs
Milwaukee went 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position, and
managed only one run in the fourth off Oswalt despite loading the
bases with no outs.
"I guess that means we made some (good) pitches when we had
to," Houston manager Jimy Williams said.
In the fifth, the Brewers cut it to 6-4 when Geoff Jenkins hit a
three-run homer, his fourth.
The seldom-used Ensberg came into the game with one hit in 11
at-bats, but set a career high with three hits and tied a career
high with three RBI.
After Bagwell's homer, Jeff Kent singled and moved to second on
scoring Kent, and Brian Hunter followed with an RBI single for a
Julio Lugo followed with an RBI single. Two outs later, Ensberg
hit a two-run single to make it 6-0.
Rusch allowed six runs and seven hits in four innings and has
lost five consecutive decisions to the Astros.
"Glendon is a quality starter, but he's struggling," Milwaukee
manager Ned Yost said. "He's off just enough that they're getting
the bat on the ball."
With the bases loaded and no outs in the fourth, Keith Osik
popped out. Royce Clayton grounded into a fielder's choice, scoring
Jenkins to get within 6-1. Pinch-hitter John Vander Wal hit for
Rusch and lined out to end the inning.
Jenkins' homer in the fifth hit off the top of the wall. The
Brewers made it 6-5 when Alex Sanchez hit his third single of the
game in the sixth, scoring Clayton.
Pinch-hitter Orlando Merced's bloop double down the left-field
line scored Kent for a 7-5 lead in the seventh. Biggio and Ensberg
each hit solo homers in the eighth to make it 9-5.
Bagwell's home run was the 387th of his career, moving him
ahead of Andres Galarraga for 40th all-time. ... Astros starters
are 3-6. ... Brewers RHP Todd Ritchie received a cortisone shot in
his pitching shoulder Tuesday, but still is slated to start
Saturday against Houston. ... An MRI on the right forearm of Astros
RHP Brian Moehler found mild tendinitis in his flexor tendon. His
next start will be April 26 at Montreal. ... Brewers 2B Eric Young
was given the day off, a day after bruising his left elbow when he
was hit by a pitch Thursday.
- Home Plate Umpire - Mark Carlson
- First Base Umpire - Paul Nauert
- Second Base Umpire - Gerry Davis
- Third Base Umpire - Ed Rapuano