Defense helps Brewers edge Astros 8-7Wisconsin Sports
-- The Milwaukee Brewers got by Houston 8-7 at home last night, thanks to a stellar defensive play by Cezar Isturis that kept the tying run from scoring in the ninth inning.
HOUSTON - The Milwaukee Brewers got by Houston 8-7 at home last night, thanks to a stellar defensive play by Cezar Isturis that kept the tying run from scoring in the ninth inning.
With a runner on third, J.D. Martinez hit a sharp grounder in the hole at short, where Izturis made a diving grab. His throw to first just barely beat Martinez.
The Astros took a 3-0 lead into the seventh inning, when the Brewers scored four times. Houston tied it in the eighth on a double by Steve Pearce. But Milwaukee scored four more in the bottom of the eighth. Cody Ransom hit a three-run homer, and Izturis drove home the eventual winning run on a dribbler in front of the mound which scored Jonathan Lucroy. In the ninth, Houston scored three runs off a trio of Milwaukee relievers to get within one. John Axford got the final two outs for his 17th save. Livan Hernandez got the win in relief. He’s 3-1. Ex-Brewers’ closer Francisco Cordero took the loss and fell to 0-3. Scott Moore homered for the Astros, who ended a team-record 12-game losing streak on Sunday. Nyjer Morgan also homered for Milwaukee. Ryan Braun sat out with hand blisters.
The Brewers won for only the second time in their last 11 games, and they’ll host Houston again tonight. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start against Astros’ left-hander Dallas Kuechel.
The firing of bullpen coach Stan Kyles did not stop the Brewers from blowing another save. Livan Hernandez gave up a game-tying double in the eighth inning last night for his first blown save of the year, and the 21st for Milwaukee this season – the worst in the Majors. Kyles was let go earlier in the day, and was replaced by Brewers’ minor league pitching coordinator Lee Tunnell. Kyles was in his fourth season as Milwaukee’s bullpen coach – and he was in his 11th year in the Brewers’ organization. A year ago, it seemed like his crew could do nothing wrong as Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford protected enough leads to give Milwaukee its first division title in 29 years. But this year, Axford has blown seven saves and K-Rod six. And Kyles agreed that a change had to be made. He said he does not consider himself a scapegoat and quote, “They’ve got to try something else down there.” The last straw came on Sunday, when Rodriguez and Axford failed to protect two late leads in a one-run Milwaukee loss to Washington in 11 innings.
Two Brewers’ prospects won player-of-the-week awards in their respective minor leagues. Khris Davis of Double-“A” Huntsville was named the week’s top offensive player in the Southern League. And Andy Moye of Class-“A” Brevard County was named the pitcher-of-the-week in the Florida State League. Davis, the Brewers’ minor league player-of-the-year in 2010, went 12-for-22 at the plate last week. He had four homers, two doubles, nine RBI’s, and seven runs scored. Davis went into last night’s play with a 13-game hitting streak in which he homered in five games in a row. Moye, a right-hander, threw seven shutout innings in his only start last week on 13 days’ rest. He struck out five and walked one, after giving up 10 earned runs in his previous two outings. Moye is now 8-2 for the Manatees this season.