Edgar Gonzalez (2-1, 3.94) vs Yovani Gallardo (16-8, 3.59)
The Astros took to the road for their final six games in the National League, with a 16-59 record away from MMP this season. Needing to win at least one of those six to avoid setting a new all-time record for the fewest road wins in a 162-game schedule, they didn't waste any time in taking care of it tonight. Houston beats Milwaukee in a 7-6 thriller, pushing the Brewers to the brink of elimination in the NL wild card race. The Astros are now 52-105 with five games left in 2012.
*Edgar Gonzalez bounced back strong from his hamstring-shortened previous start, limiting the Brewers to just one hit - a Carlos Gomez HR - through the first five innings. He started running into trouble in the 6th, but he still had a shutout through 5.2 until a two-run double by Ryan Braun chased him from the game. Thus, Edgar's line: 5.2 IP / 4 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 0 BB / 3 K. Hector Ambriz added 1.1 scoreless, then Wesley Wright walked Norichika Aoki before getting the next two out. Rhiner Cruz came in to face Aramis Ramirez, but he allowed Aoki to score when Ramirez tripled. That brought in Wilton Lopez, who got the third out in the 8th, before allowing two runs in a more-interesting-than-it-should-have-been 9th. But he finally shut the door, earning Gonzalez his third win in five starts, and earning himself his ninth save in twelve tries.
*Astros go yicketty four times! (Thanks, Chipper.) This tied their mark for most homers in a game this season, set on June 10 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.
*Jason Castro was the big man with the bat tonight, blasting two of those four home runs and going 2 for 3 with a walk, two RBIs, and three runs scored. He'd never even had two home runs in a week before, but now he's got three this week and his first multi-HR game.
*Brett Wallace immediately preceded Castro's first bomb in the 5th with a bomb of his own, finishing 2 for 4 with a K, a RBI, and two runs scored.
*Jose Altuve had his second home run in as many games, going deep in the 9th to end his day 2 for 5.
*Fernando Martinez scored Houston's other run, doubling and going 1 for 4.
*Matt Dominguez went 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs, plus a flashy diving stop to rob Aramis Ramirez of a double in the 4th.
*Edgar Gonzalez helped his own cause, going 1 for 2 with a RBI bunt single, a walk, and a K.
*Jed Lowrie went 1 for 5 with 2 K.
*Justin Maxwell managed to play all three outfield positions, but he also managed to go 0 for 5 with 4 K.
When Jose Altuve homered in the top of the 9th, it looked like just an insurance run for the Astros, but that ended up being the deciding blow. Wilton Lopez took a 7-4 lead to the bottom of the 9th, but
Jordan Logan Schafer led off with a strikeout single. After a Carlos Gomez fly out, Jean Segura doubled Schafer home to make it 7-5. An error by Matt Dominguez allowed Jonathan Lucroy to reach and Segura to score, shrinking Houston's lead to 7-6 with the tying run on and one out. But Lopez blessedly got Norichika Aoki to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
Man of the Match:
Castro the Astro! Huge game for Houston's young catcher.
Milwaukee's elimination number is now the loneliest number - one. An Astros win tomorrow would put Houston back at .500 in September, and would make sure that the ex-AL Brewers join them in an early winter vacation.