Fri. Final: Brewers 11, Astros 2
By Todd Welter
Next game: Saturday, August 15th vs. Houston
Felipe Lopez did not think he was going to get another at-bat in the first inning after just barely squeezing out an infield single to start the game. Turns out the Crew ended up batting around the order that inning for eight runs which was capped off by Lopez's second at-bat.
That is when he launched a three-run blast for his first home run in a Brewers uniform as the Brewers cruised to an 11-2 rout of the Houston Astros at Miller Park.
Ryan Braun bashed out two home runs and Yovani Gallardo took care of the Astros' potent lineup as the Crew (57-58) won back-to-back games for just the seventh time since June 1.
The three-run homer by Lopez definitely helped the cause but it was him hustling down the first-base line to pick up that lead-off infield single that set the tone of how this game would go.
"The hustle play by Felipe definitely set the tone," Braun felt. "It was nice to get out to a big lead like that and have an easy one."
Braun drove in Lopez by bashing out a two-run shot to center. Jason Bourgeois drove in his first career Major League run with a two-out single. Gallardo helped his own cause by smacking a two-RBI double. Felipe Lopez finished off the rally with his seventh home run of the season.
Lopez finished with three hits and two runs. Braun added another run the next inning by belting out a solo shot to left field.
"Lopez set the tone," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "Beating that play in the first, pretty good energy in the dugout after that happened."
It is not every day Gallardo is given a lot of run support and he was never one to complain. Although, he must have the patience of a saint as in four of his starts the offense did not even produce a run.
His run support has been so deficient that the Brewers' offense has produced five or more runs only eight times in Gallardo's 23 prior starts and only once did the Crew score double-digits for him prior to this rout.
Gallardo certainly took advantage of the run support in this rout as he gave up just two runs over six innings. Gallardo (11-9) picked up his 11th win of the season as he coughed up just three hits and had seven strikeouts. He even helped out the offense with three-RBI.
"It's good to get eight, nine, ten runs or whatever it might be," Gallardo explained. "It's baseball and is not going to happen very often but we able to that today."
The ironic part of this offensive explosion was it came at the expense of Wandy Rodriguez who last Sunday shutout the Brewers at Minute Maid Park.
He looked nothing like the pitcher that out-dueled Gallardo in that 2-0 victory in Houston (56-60) on Aug. 9. Rodriguez was the victim of the Brewers' big first inning as he allowed the Crew to send 10 hitters up to the plate.
"He might have missed his spots a couple more times and we were able to take advantage," Braun explained. "It was nice to have a decent game against him."
Rodriguez lasted just four innings in which he was roughed up for 10 runs in four innings of work. Rodriguez (11-7) gave up 10 hits and walked four as he lost for the seventh time this season.