Series: Game 3 of 4

Milwaukee leads 3-0 (as of 6/19)

Game 1: Monday, June 17
Houston 2Final
Milwaukee 5
Game 2: Tuesday, June 18
Houston 1Final
Milwaukee 7
Game 3: Wednesday, June 19
Houston 1Final
Milwaukee 8
Game 4: Thursday, June 20
Houston 9Final
Milwaukee 3

Astros 1

(30-40, 11-25 away)

Brewers 8

(26-45, 18-20 home)

    8:05 PM ET, June 19, 2002

    Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

    123456789 R H E
    HOU 000000010 1 - -
    MIL 10001114 - 8 - -

    W: G. Rusch (4-5)

    L: T. Redding (3-4)

    Brewers earn first series win in two weeks

    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Brewers have finally found a team that's struggling more than they are.

    Glendon Rusch

    Glendon Rusch stranded eight runners over six shutout innings and the Brewers beat the Houston Astros for the third straight time, 8-1 Wednesday night.

    The Astros have lost seven straight on the road, and the Brewers have just their second three-game winning streak of the season. They've outscored the Astros 20-4 and have a 1.00 ERA in the series that wraps up Thursday.

    Rusch (4-5) labored through his six innings, allowing five hits and walking four, but repeatedly getting out of jams. He threw 71 of his 116 pitches in the first three innings, when he walked three, but stranded six.

    ''It wasn't great but it was good enough,'' Brewers manager Jerry Royster said. ''And we're taking good enough right now. He stranded a lot of baserunners and also threw a lot of pitches. So, it wasn't ideal, but it was exactly what we needed. We needed another win on top of last night.''

    Rusch said he felt fortunate.

    ''Tonight the walks didn't hurt me.'' he said. ''A lot of times those guys are going to end up scoring. Tonight I was the lucky one.

    ''I'd rather have a lot less guys on base than two guys on every inning and 3-2 on every batter like I was tonight,'' Rusch said. ''But yeah, it's a boost when you get out of those innings, you work your way out of some tough jams and the team picks you up.''

    The Astros were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position off Rusch.

    ''We couldn't get that big hit,'' Astros manager Jimy Williams said. ''Rusch got tough when he had to. He had a high pitch count and he battled through that. We had some runners on base and we just couldn't get that hit or two to put some crooked numbers on the board.''

    The Brewers sure did.

    Eric Young hit Tim Redding's first pitch 420 feet for his first home run of the season, Jose Hernandez led off the sixth with his 13th homer and Richie Sexson led off the seventh with his 18th, a 425-foot shot.

    Redding (3-4) allowed only two other hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out six.

    ''I had a game plan of taking a couple pitches and seeing what type of location or command he had,'' said Young, who added an RBI triple in the seventh. ''But looking at the tape, I noticed he was pretty accurate getting that first strike over. So, I said if I see it, I'm going to take a good hack on it.''

    After a 1-2-3 fourth, Brian Hunter led off the fifth with a double, but was trapped off the bag when Craig Biggio flied out weakly to first on a failed hit-and-run.

    The Astros put runners at first and third with one out in the sixth, but Gregg Zaun fouled out and Julio Lugo looked at strike three.

    ''We're going to have to get our act together real quick because it's not early anymore,'' Houston's Jeff Bagwell said. ''That's not good baseball.''

    The Brewers lost the shutout when shortstop Jose Hernandez booted Jose Vizcaino's groundball with two outs in the eighth, allowing Geoff Blum to score from third.

    The Brewers scored four times off Scott Linebrink in the eighth, including Robert Machado's two-run double.

    For the third straight game, the Brewers got timely hitting and good pitching, a previously elusive mix.

    ''If things come together like that,'' Young said, ''we should get on a nice little roll.''

    Game notes

    The Brewers inducted commissioner Bud Selig, who brought the team to Milwaukee in 1970, and former slugger Cecil Cooper into the Miller Park walk of fame in pregame ceremonies. ... Astros slugger Lance Berkman got the night off, missing a start for just the third time this season. ... Lou Collier was the last Brewers hitter to lead off a game with a homer, on Sept. 9, 2001. ... Young has hit 16 leadoff homers, most recently on June 16, 2001.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press