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Brewers' losing streak reaches eight games

7/23/2002

HOUSTON (AP) -- Wade Miller claims not to pay attention to his
record against Milwaukee, but the Brewers have noticed.

''The only reason I know about it is because someone just told
me. I just try to throw my best stuff no matter who we are
playing,'' Miller said after pitching seven strong innings to beat
Milwaukee for the 10th time in 11 decisions.

Miller allowed one run and six hits as the Houston Astros beat
Milwaukee 3-1 Monday night.

''Lets face it, he's got our number,'' Milwaukee's Matt Stairs
said. ''He keeps us off balance with his curve and his changeup.''

Milwaukee lost its eighth straight game, its longest losing
streak since an 11-gamer last July.

Miller (7-3) retired 14 of the first 16 hitters and didn't allow
a baserunner to advance past first base until the sixth inning.

Miller is 7-1 since returning from the disabled list May 29.

''It seems like he is getting his stuff from last year back.
Early on he wasn't so overpowering,'' Milwaukee's Richie Sexson
said. ''The first time we faced him this year velocity was down,
but its back now.''

Miller isn't satisfied.

''I don't think I'm at my best yet. I can be better,'' Miller
said. ''I know I can have better stuff late in the game. Tonight my
fastball wasn't there late in the game.''

Brad Ausmus homered for the Astros, and Billy Wagner pitched the
ninth for his 19th save in 23 chances.

Glendon Rusch (5-10) gave up three runs and 10 hits in six
innings to take the loss. He struck out seven and walked two.

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the third when Rusch issued a
bases-loaded walk to Jose Vizcaino with two outs.

A single by Craig Biggio, a walk to Jeff Bagwell and an infield
single by Richard Hidalgo loaded the bases for Vizcaino.

The Astros increased their lead to 2-0 in the fourth, when
Ausmus led off with his fourth home run of the season.

Houston moved ahead 3-0 in the fifth after Lance Berkman led off
with a double and scored on Bagwell's single.

Milwaukee cut its deficit to 3-1 in the sixth when Paul Bako
walked, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on Eric Young's
double.

Game notes
Houston's Octavio Dotel leads the major leagues in
strikeouts by a reliever with 81 ... Hidalgo was in a 1-for-17 skid
before singling in the third inning. ... Milwaukee is 15-35 on the
road.