MVP: Ryan Braun (+.287)
LVP: Jerry Hairston (-.127)
Nothing was going right for the Brewers in the opening game of a three-game set against the Houston Astros on Friday night. They were being shut out by yet another pitcher just called up from Triple A. Lucas Harrell, a waiver claim from the Chicago White Sox, limited the Crew to just three hits and two walks over 5.1 innings. The Brewers put two base runners on in the second, fourth and sixth innings but a failure to hit with runners in scoring position kept a big goose egg on the score board.
Meanwhile, Zack Greinke was flirting with disaster for most of the night, wiggling off the hook in the second inning (inducing a double play ball with the bases loaded) and third inning (getting a strike out and a fly ball with one out and runners on the corners) before giving up two runs in the fourth inning.
After being swept at home by the Cardinals, the mood was somber. The Brewers looked done until a recent call-up and the roof of Minute Maid Park intervened.
Milwaukee recorded two quick outs before Taylor Green was sent to the plate to pinch hit for Greinke in the seventh inning. He singled to left field. Corey Hart then came to the plate and hit a towering pop-up that was destined to find the glove of Jimmy Paredes and end the inning. Only Hart hit it so high that it hit the roof and fell out of the reach of the Astros defenders.
Apparently this little bit of luck was all that the Brewers needed.
Hart took advantage of his second chance with a single. Nyjer Morgan followed with a walk to load the bases. The Brewers first run of the night, pinch runner Logan Schafer, crossed the plate on a wild pitch to Braun. Milwaukee then took the lead on a two-run single by Braun and never looked back. Milwaukee would tack on five more runs on home runs by Prince Fielder and Casey McGehee.
With the Cardinals loss to the Reds, Milwaukee's lead in the NL Central is back to 8.5 games. All the Crew needed was a team in the cellar to have a really good ceiling.