Series: Game 3 of 3

Milwaukee won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, September 9
Game 2: Saturday, September 10
Game 3: Sunday, September 11

Astros 2

(76-66, 30-42 away)

Brewers 4

(71-72, 39-32 home)

    2:05 PM ET, September 11, 2005

    Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

    123456789 R H E
    HOU 000000020 2 7 0
    MIL 10020100 - 4 10 0

    W: R. Helling (2-0)

    L: R. Oswalt (17-12)

    S: D. Turnbow (31)

    Helling, Weeks formidable duo in Brewers' win

    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Rickie Weeks doesn't always play like a rookie, but his teammates reminded him Sunday that he is one.

    Weeks hit a two-run homer and Rick Helling pitched seven strong innings to lead the Milwaukee Brewers over the Houston Astros 4-2.

    After the game, Weeks and every other Milwaukee rookie was forced to wear white Hooters tank-tops and tiny black shorts before the Brewers left for their road trip.

    "I'm feeling good," Weeks said before putting on his new outfit. "I've been hitting the ball but I couldn't find a hole. Now I guess the holes are finding me."

    Houston remained a half-game ahead of Florida in the wild-card race. The Astros, who failed to move a season-high 12 games over .500, begin a four-game series with the Marlins on Monday in Houston.

    "It's a wasted opportunity, no question," said Houston manager Phil Garner, knowing that Florida already had lost. "We didn't take (the Brewers) for granted, we just didn't show up offensively."

    Helling (2-0) was making his fourth start of the season and picked up his first win as a starter.

    He gave up five hits and had a season-high six strikeouts. Derrick Turnbow pitched the ninth for his 31st save in 34 chances.

    "That was probably the least amount of curveballs I've thrown in my entire career," Helling said. "I had a pretty good cutter today and I was locating my fastball pretty well, so I stayed with that all day."

    Roy Oswalt (17-12) lost for just the sixth time in his last 20 starts. He lasted six innings and gave up eight hits and four runs. He struck out five and walked one.

    "I felt OK," Oswalt said. "My command was pretty good. That's the way it goes."

    Bill Hall singled off Oswalt with two outs in the fourth before Weeks connected for his 13th homer of the season and first since Aug. 31, giving Milwaukee a 3-0 lead.

    "Rickie got a curveball up a little bit and he hammered it," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "It was a big part of the game."

    Helling escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third and stranded runners on first and second in the seventh by striking out Brad Ausmus and pinch-hitter Luke Scott, then getting Willy Taveras to ground out.

    "He had us in a hole all night," Garner said. "He found the strike zone and he said, `hit it,' and we didn't."

    Milwaukee reliever Dana Eveland replaced Helling in the eighth and gave up a home run to Chris Burke on the first pitch he threw.

    Jose Vizcaino tripled on Eveland's next pitch and scored on a groundout by Jason Lane.

    Milwaukee took a 1-0 lead in the first when Carlos Lee singled home J.J. Hardy with one out. Hall singled and scored the Brewers' final run in the sixth.

    Game notes

    Astros 3B Morgan Ensberg did not play for the fifth consecutive day after suffering a bruised right hand on Monday. ... With Milwaukee's run in the first, Houston has allowed 72 runs in the first inning and 72 in the second. The only other inning the Astros have allowed more runs is 86 in the eighth. ... Oswalt had won 10 of his last 11 decisions in September. Helling's last victory against Houston was June 9, 2001, with Texas.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press