HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Less than a week after earning his first major league win, Milwaukee's
put a stake through the heart of the
Obermueller pitched eight strong innings and fellow rookie
tripled, doubled twice and drove in three runs to lead the Brewers to a 5-2 victory over the Astros.
After winning the opener of this four-game series Thursday, the Astros lost two straight to the last-place Brewers and were eliminated from postseason contention when the
swept a doubleheader from Pittsburgh on Saturday.
The Cubs entered the day with a half-game lead over the Astros in the race for the National League Central Division title. The loss by the Astros (86-75) enabled the Cubs (88-73) to clinch the division with Saturday's doubleheader sweep.
"We picked a bad time to hit the skids," said Astros reliever
of his team's sixth loss in eight games. "Is fatigue a factor? I don't know. You are going to have to draw your own conclusions. Fatigue is an excuse. We are professionals and we know we have to come out every day no matter how tired we are."
"We need some big time help right now," said Astros center fielder
. "You can't put your finger on what's happened here. Guys are busting their tails and trying their hardest to get the job done. We had our chances today."
This loss was especially frustrating for the Astros, who had 10 hits off Obermueller (2-5) but were just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
"We talked about getting hits with runners in scoring position and two outs and they got those kind of hits today and we didn't," said Astros manager
. "(Obermueller) really pitched well against us."
had an RBI single in the first inning, but with the bases loaded and one out,
grounded into an inning-ending double play. Houston did not score again until
hit a solo homer in the seventh.
"I don't think any of us feel upbeat to talk right now," Kent said. "We've spent eight months together, but it kind of feels like we are running out of gas a little bit and let the Cubs walk away with this.
"This is the toughest division in baseball and for us to be on top 95 percent of the season and then have it turn on us at the end of the year, yeah it is frustrating. But if I had an excuse for why this has happened, then maybe we could fix the problem. The Cubs are playing well right now, but it just almost feels like we handed it to them."
Milwaukee was able to do damage against Houston's starting pitcher for the second straight day. On Friday, Jeriome Roberston lasted just 2 2/3 innings and yielded five runs and seven hits in a 12-5 loss. On Saturday, lefthander
allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings against his former team.
Podsednik delivered a two-out RBI triple in the third and scored on a single by
, giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
After Villone retired the first two batters in the sixth,
hit his 23rd homer of the season for the first of five straight hits.
and Obermueller hit consecutive singles to load the bases before Podsednik greeted reliever
with a two-run double off the left field wall, increasing the lead to 5-1.
"It feels really nice to be able to drive in some runs and have a good game like this," Podsednik said. "It's nice to win another one here and we are going to go out there (Sunday) and try to win this series. It would be really nice to close out the season with three straight wins."
Villone went 0-4 in his last six starts and finished 0-3 this season against his former team.
Obermueller earned his first career win last Sunday against Arizona, allowing three runs and eight hits in six innings of a 6-4 victory.