's hustle gave the
a badly needed spark.
Lopez outran a play at first base in the first inning and then hit a three-run homer to cap the eight-run opening frame against
, lifting the Brewers to an 11-2 victory over the
on Friday night.
''Guys pick up on it, everybody got kind of excited,'' Lopez said. ''It was nice.''
added home runs in the first two innings and Brewers ace
struck out seven over six innings in what was supposed to be a rematch with Rodriguez, one of the hottest starters in the
NL who had won a 2-0 duel Sunday.
''The hustle play by Felipe definitely set the tone, a lot of guys put together some good at-bats, took advantage of every
mistake he made and it was nice to get out to a big lead like that and have an easy one,'' Braun said.
The Brewers jumped on Rodriguez from the start. The left-hander allowed 10 hits and a career-high 10 earned runs and walked
five in four innings.
Staked a 10-0 lead, Gallardo (11-9) handcuffed the Astros, losers of 14 of 20, scattering two runs, three hits and three walks
to give Milwaukee its second straight win. He also tied a career-high with three RBIs.
''It's always good to get an eight-run lead, I'm sure it's what every pitcher wants,'' Gallardo said.
The Brewers led the NL Central heading into July before six miserable weeks, but remain seven games behind St. Louis in the
division. After a major roster shake up Wednesday, they broke out in a big way against Rodriguez (11-7), who had won his previous
six decisions and held the Brewers to five hits in seven scoreless innings on Sunday.
But he failed to cover first base in time on Lopez's chopper to
to lead off the game.
''That was a very bad mistake,'' said Rodriguez, who mentioned a sore left knee kept him from running full speed. ''I didn't
feel comfortable on the mound. I pitched very good at home, so I don't know what happened.''
Lopez, acquired in a trade with Arizona on July 19, had caught Brewers manager
's eye for the wrong reasons in the past few days and committed a costly error in Thursday's 12-9 win that forced the Brewers
to use closer
Macha pulled Lopez to the side before the game, and he came out strong against the Astros.
''It probably had no effect, no effect at all,'' Macha said of his chat. ''I've got no effect on him. That comes from within
him. He did a good job, set the tone and we wound up with eight runs in that inning.''
was disappointed with Rodriguez's effort.
''If he had just hustled over and gotten that easy out things might have been different. He just couldn't stop the bleeding
and they didn't stop until they put that crooked number up,'' Cooper said. ''You don't like to see that.''
After an out, Braun homered to make it 2-0, the most runs Rodriguez had allowed in a start since June 26. It got much worse
looked at strike three for the second out.
drove in his first career run with a single and Gallardo, who also had a sacrifice fly in the fourth, added a two-run double.
, called up in place of former All-Star shortstop J.J. Hardy, and Lopez homered off the facing of the second deck in left
in his second at-bat of the inning to make it 8-0.
Braun homered again, his 25th of the season and third in two days, to lead off the second with Rodriguez letting out a sigh
watching the slugger shadow box with Fielder in celebration for the second time.
Gallardo smiled several times with a comfortable lead after he had received an average of 2.3 runs in support over his previous
''He deserves it,'' Braun said. ''He deserves a lot of games like this.''
NOTES: Astros 2B Kaz Matsui remains one hit from 2,000 combined in the majors and Japan, which would allow him to join Japan's
Meikyukai. According to the official site, to be eligible for the club a Japanese player must have 2,000 combined hits, 200
combined wins or 250 combined saves. ... Astros 3B
(heart surgery) went 0 for 2 with a walk, an RBI and a run in five innings at Double-A Corpus Christi in his third rehab appearance.
He's expected to play consecutive games for the first time Saturday. ... It was Houston's first visit to Miller Park this