MILWAUKEE (Ticker) --
homered to lead the
back into first place in the National League Central Division with an 8-4 win over the
The Astros, who slipped one-half game behind the
when they lost in San Diego on Sunday, made up that difference. Houston has not spent back-to-back days out of first place since occupying second from July 4-7.
Houston also moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals host the
on Tuesday, while the Cubs visit the
in Puerto Rico.
"I've never been in a three-way race," Bagwell said. "It's usually just Cincinnati, the Cardinals or the Cubs or whatever, so this has been a different one. You got to take care of yourself. You can't worry about what everybody else does."
Bagwell's homer, the 413th of his career, put Houston ahead 5-0 in the fourth inning. He moved within one home run of tying lefthanded slugger
for 34th on the all-time list.
"That's why they're at where they're at," Brewers manager
said. "They've got good pitching. They've got a good offense."
The Brewers got back within two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning when
reached the 20-home run plateau for the first time in his career. But Hidalgo hit his homer in the sixth and Bagwell added an RBI double in the seventh.
Activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, Houston starter
(7-5) pitched five innings. Oswalt, who missed all of August with a strained right groin, allowed four runs and five hits with four strikeouts before turning things over to the Astros' bullpen.
"To go five innings was the biggest challenge, to stay out there as long as I could" Oswalt said. "Our plan coming into this game was to maybe go three or four. I'm glad (manager
) left me out there in a situation where I could get a win."
Oswalt threw 59 of 86 pitches for strikes and helped himself by issuing no walks for the first time since June 11, when he pitched only one inning before leaving with an injury as part of the Astros' combined no-hitter of the
New York Yankees
"He probably threw more pitches than maybe I anticipated to get through five," Williams said. "His stuff was still good at that point. I wanted to give him a chance to win that game. For being out as long as he was out, his command and control on the plate wasn't that bad."
each struck out two in the sixth and seventh, respectively, and
struck out the side in the eighth.
Although it was not a save situation,
came on in the ninth inning, and retired the side in order.
(10-12) allowed six runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. The former Astros lefthander suffered his first loss in five appearances against his old team.
put Franklin in an immediate hole when he hit a three-run double in the first inning. Berkman's RBI were his first since August 30, snapping a seven-game drought.
"It was certainly a good start for us in a game against a guy who's been really tough on us," Williams said.
Berkman's double was also only his second extra-base hit since August 28.