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Updated: Friday, April 18, 2003 12:38 AM EDT
Houston Astros
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
2 6 0
Milwaukee Brewers
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
4 12 0
W Kinney (2-1)
L Redding (0-2)
S de los Santos (1)
Recap | Box Score | Lineup | ScoreCast | Game Log | How They Scored | Today's Scoreboard

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Matt Kinney allowed four hits in seven scoreless innings and Richie Sexson and Geoff Jenkins homered in the top of the first inning as the Milwaukee Brewers posted a 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros .

Kinney (2-1) notched consecutive victories for the first time in his career, besting an Astros team that did not start Lance Berkman , Craig Biggio or Jeff Kent . Berkman missed the game with a sprained left elbow, while Biggio and Kent were given the night off.

Kinney had a rough spring, going 0-3 with a 6.39 ERA in seven Cactus League starts. But through 16 games, he leads Brewers' starters with a 3.00 ERA, 18 strikeouts and is their only starter with a winning record.

The 26-year-old righthander relied on his breaking ball and did not allow a runner past second until the seventh inning.

"I was kind of surprised that they swung at that," said Kinney, who defeated Arizona ace Curt Schilling on Saturday. "I was just trying to give them something to swing at and they hit it. But it helps out a lot and saves some pitches."

"Today he pitched a really good game," Brewers catcher Eddie Perez said. "In the first inning, he struck out (Jeff) Bagwell and I said 'Wow this kid is going to be good today.'"

Kinney, who was 2-7 with a 4.64 ERA in 14 appearances for Minnesota last season, rarely fell behind. He threw three balls to a batter just three times.

"Kinney was on the attack from the first pitch on," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "Starting pitching is the key for us. He shut down a tremendously talented Houston Astros team for us."

"He pitched a good game," Bagwell said. "But with our offense, we always feel like we should score a lot of runs. We just haven't been able to bust out like I figured we could."

Kinney allowed two hits through the first six frames before Orlando Merced and Richard Hidalgo opened the seventh with base hits. But he retired Jose Vizcaino on a double play, struck out Brad Ausmus and departed with a 3-0 cushion.

Kinney struck out six and threw 93 pitches. He was relieved by Valerio De Los Santos, who worked a scoreless eighth and notched his first career save despite allowing solo homers to Bagwell and Hidalgo in the ninth.

Sexson and Jenkins had two hits apiece for the Brewers, who hit back-to-back homers for the third time this season and bounced back from Wednesday's 15-2 loss to St. Louis.

Houston starter Tim Redding (0-2) lasted just 3 1/3 innings and surrendered three runs and eight hits. Redding dropped his fifth consecutive decision and remained winless in his last 12 starts dating to a win vs. Philadelphia last May 13.

While Kinney was cruising, Redding was in trouble throughout. After Sexson belted a 2-1 pitch over the left field fence for his fifth homer, Jenkins deposited Redding's first pitch over the left field wall for his third homer.

Milwaukee added a run in the third when Royce Clayton scored on Eric Young 's base hit. The Brewers could have had more but Sexson stranded Young and Kinney.

Jenkins added his second hit of the game when he led off the third with a double. But he was thrown out at home by Merced, who fired a perfect strike to Ausmus after fielding Perez's base hit.

Scott Podsednik 's solo homer in the eighth off reliever Bruce Chen capped the scoring for Milwaukee.

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