Brewers fall to Astros 6-5 in 10 innings
HOUSTON (AP) The Milwaukee Brewers' closer situation seems to get worse by the day.
After John Axford blew his eighth save opportunity in Friday night's loss to the Houston Astros, Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said Jim Henderson was the only reliable pitcher for the role.
On Saturday night, Henderson lost the game in the 10th inning as Houston defeated Milwaukee 6-5.
Henderson (0-1) struck out the side in the ninth inning, but lost it in the 10th when Scott Moore hit an RBI single with none out.
Jose Altuve led off with an infield single. Marwin Gonzalez and Steve Pearce followed with walks to load the bases before Moore singled, giving Houston consecutive wins for the first time since June 26-27.
The Astros won in their final at-bat for the second straight game.
It was the 11th consecutive road loss for the struggling Brewers, who are now 18-35 on the road.
"(Henderson) did his job the first inning and we put him back out there, but he's not going to be perfect all the time," Roenicke said. "If Henderson is our closer and we don't use him in the ninth, we may never get to him."
"I thought we did a nice job of battling back and scoring runs once we got behind," Roenicke said. "Their left-hander (Dallas Keuchel) had us baffled with all the off-speed, and we didn't have very many good at-bats against him."
Keuchel allowed four runs - two earned - on five hits with a career-high six strikeouts for Houston. Keuchel struck out six batters in his four starts in July and had allowed 27 runs - 25 earned - over 25 innings in his last five outings.
Marco Estrada lasted only four innings for Milwaukee, allowing four runs on seven hits with three strikeouts. Estrada has not won a game since Aug. 23, 2011.
"I just felt completely out of whack out there," Estrada said. "It was the worst I've felt all year, and I let a bad team beat me. It's tough to take any loss, but when you lose to one of the last-place teams, it makes it even worse. Today was just terrible, and I didn't give us a chance to win."
Tyler Greene put Houston ahead 5-4 with a solo home run to right center in the fifth off Livan Hernandez.
The Brewers loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs, but Mickey Storey struck Carlos Gomez out looking to end the threat.
After the inning, Gomez was ejected by home plate umpire Gary Darling for arguing the called third strike.
After the game, Gomez went on a profanity-laced rant mostly directed toward Darling.
"I have never gotten thrown out in my career, but that guy, I had to tell something," Gomez said. "It's not fair. How do you defend yourself when you tell the right thing and they act like they're imbeciles?"
Milwaukee tied it at 4-apiece in the fifth on a two-run double by Norichika Aoki scoring Jonathan Lucroy, who had doubled, and Segura, who had singled.
Altuve singled with one out and stole second before Brett Wallace singled to right field in the third. An error by Aoki allowed Altuve to score. Pearce followed with an RBI triple to lift the lead to 4-2.
The Brewers tied it 2-all, capitalizing on an error by Wallace. After Aramis Ramirez singled and stole second to begin the inning, Corey Hart grounded to third, but Wallace's throw to first went high, allowing Hart to move to second and Ramirez to score. Hart scored two batters later on a Lucroy sacrifice fly.
Houston jumped on Estrada early as Greene led off with a double and Altuve singled. After a wild pitch allowed Altuve to move to second, Wallace popped out to the catcher. Pearce followed with a two-run single to center to give Houston a 2-0 lead.
NOTES: Astros INF Brian Bixler cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma City. He had been designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Greene. ... Houston named Mike Elias as director of scouting, general manager Jeff Luhnow announced Saturday. ... Milwaukee RHP Shaun Marcum, who is on the 60-day DL with right elbow tightness, made his first rehab start Friday night for Class A Wisconsin allowing one run on one hit with three strikeouts in three innings. He threw 36 pitches. ... Houston will start RHP Jordan Lyles, who is 2-8 with a 5.69 ERA, Sunday, while the Brewers will send Yovani Gallardo, who is 10-8 with a 3.79 ERA, to the mound in the series finale.
Updated August 12, 2012