HOUSTON (AP) -- Maturity has made all the difference for Pete Munro.
Munro pitched seven strong innings and the Houston Astros sent
Milwaukee to its ninth straight loss, beating the Brewers 7-4 on Tuesday night. Munro (2-0) held the Brewers to two runs and two hits. He struck
out a career-high seven and walked two. The Astros are 4-0 in games
Munro has started since being called up from Triple-A on June 27. Munro pitched for Toronto in 1999 and 2000, getting one victory
in four decisions spanning 40 appearances. He went on the disabled
list with a strained elbow and had surgery after the 2000 season. "Before, I was young and was not as mature,'' Munro said. "I
showed a lot of emotion then and wasn't content with myself. As
I've grown older, I've learned a lot about myself and become more
content.'' Munro said the surgery caused his fastball to drop from 94-95
mph to a high now of 90. But that isn't all bad. "It made me learn how to pitch,'' he said. "Before the
surgery, I tried to throw it as hard as I could every pitch in
hopes of striking people out. All I cared about was strikeouts. Now
I don't get that many strikeouts and I don't care.'' Astros manager Jim Williams only remembers Munro from spring
training. "He was a reliever then, and when he went down to Triple-A he
was going as a reliever,'' Williams said. "But I guess he got some
starts down there and did real well. "He pitched a strong game for us. He threw seven good innings.
He got out in front of a lot of hitters and didn't throw a lot of
pitches.'' The slumping Brewers weren't how good Munro was because they are
hitting so poorly. "He did a good job,'' Milwaukee manager Jerry Royster said.
"It's hard to evaluate him when you're swinging the bats the way
we are. "Opposing hitters were hitting .311 against him and we get one
hit through six innings and that was by the pitcher. At one point,
our two hardest-hit balls were both by pitchers.'' Jamey Wright (2-10) stumbled to 0-9 with a 7.75 ERA in 13 career
starts against Houston. "From the beginning it was a struggle for him,'' Royster said.
"He's got to be pulling his hair out. Today is the most focused
I've seen him, so this had to be hard on him. He lost control and
gave up some big hits.'' Wright gave up six runs in only three innings and fell to 0-4
with a 10.50 ERA against the Astros this season. He admitted he is
trying too hard. "I just never got in sync,'' Wright said. "I had decent stuff
in the bullpen and when I got out there. But I just overthrew
rather than let them make contact.'' The Brewers finished with four hits, including two-run homers by
Matt Stairs and Robert Machado. Octavio Dotel pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save. Wright's wild pitch allowed Craig Biggio to score in the first
inning. Daryle Ward's single drove in another run for a 2-0 lead. In the third inning, the Astros loaded the bases and Wright
walked Geoff Blum to force home a run. Brad Ausmus then hit a
three-run double to make it 6-0. After Jose Vizcaino tripled to lead off the fourth, Biggio's
infield single drove him in for a 7-0 lead. Meanwhile, Munro was cruising. After Wright got the Brewers'
first hit in the third inning, Munro retired 12 straight before
Richie Sexson walked in the seventh. Stairs followed with his
eighth homer of the season. Machado homered in the eighth off Ricky Stone.
Astros pitchers do not have a complete game this season.
The Rockies are the only other team in the majors without one. ...
Houston is 43-1 when leading after eight innings. ... Brewers INF
Tyler Houston was a late scratch from the starting lineup. The
Brewers later announced he had been traded to the Los Angeles
Dodgers for minor league pitchers Ben Diggins and Shane Nance.