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Ensberg breaks tie in fifth with RBI single

9/26/2002

HOUSTON (AP) -- Morgan Ensberg got a little satisfaction
Wednesday night in what's been a frustrating season.

Ensberg's pinch-hit single in the fifth inning drove in the
go-ahead run as the Houston Astros came back from a four-run
deficit to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-5.

Ensberg was the Astros' starting third baseman at the beginning
of the season, but hit only .236 and was sent down to Triple-A in
early June. He was called up in September, and has gone 2-for-3 in
limited action since then.

"I'm obviously disappointed in my season and how I played,''
Ensberg said. "I don't know if this tonight helps, but it makes me
feel good at least.

"I know I can play up here. I've changed my batting stance and
I'm excited about next year,'' he said.

Manager Jimy Williams was pleased with Ensberg and Daryle Ward,
who hit two two-run homers.

"Ensberg gave us a big basehit,'' Williams said. "Daryle had a
big game. The first homer put us back in the game and the second
tied it up.''

The Brewers continued the worst season in franchise history,
losing on the night the team replaced team president Wendy
Selig-Prieb and general manager Dean Taylor.

Ulice Payne, a managing partner at the law firm Foley & Lardner,
takes over as team president and former Texas general manager Doug
Melvin replaces Taylor. Payne will be the first black president of
a major league team.

Left unsaid for the moment was the fate of manager Jerry
Royster, who took over after 15 games from Davey Lopes and
currently has a 52-91 record.

"I talked to Doug before the game and he said he wanted to meet
with me Monday,'' Royster said. "I don't know if we'll talk about
my future but I do know we'll talk about the team. We'll find out
if there will be any new changes when the new people come in.

"You don't know if anything is good until you've done it for a
while. I wasn't thinking about it but I wasn't surprised (by the
changes).''

Matt Stairs expected some changes.

"I think there are going to be a lot more moves,'' Stairs said.
"I'll be happy if they are steps in the right direction.''

The Brewers fell to 55-103. The previous worst for the Brewers
was in their first season in Milwaukee when they went 65-97 in
1970. The previous franchise worst was when the team was the
Seattle Pilots and went 64-98 in 1969.

The Brewers scored four early runs off Pete Munro, who allowed
four runs on seven hits and two walks, but couldn't hold on.

With two outs in the fifth, Raul Chavez doubled before Ensberg's
broken-bat single off Jose Cabrera broke a 5-all tie.

Nelson Cruz (2-6) went one inning and gave up one run on two
hits and a walk to win.

Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his 35th save in 41 chances.

Reliever Valerio De Los Santos (2-3) pitched 2/3 of an inning
and allowed three runs on two hits and a walk.

Brewers starter Nick Neugebauer lasted only 2 2/3 innings, but
allowed three runs on six walks and a homer before leaving with a
4-3 lead.

Richie Sexson gave the Brewers a 3-0 lead in the first with his
29th home run of the season.

In the third inning, Jose Hernandez made it 4-0 with a
double-play groundout.

The Astros loaded the bases on walks in the bottom of the third
and Adam Everett scored when Jeff Bagwell hit into a double play. Ward's homer then pulled the Astros to within 4-3.

It was the only hit Neugebauer allowed but after six walks was
enough to chase him for reliever Mike Matthews.

Ward hit his second home run -- both were two-run shots -- after
Bagwell walked in the fifth to tie the score at 5. It gave Ward 12
home runs for the year.

It was the second multihomer game of Ward's career. His first
came April 10, 2000 against the Cardinals.

Game notes
Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer and the
longtime lawyer for commissioner Bud Selig, also is a partner at
Foley & Lardner. ... Houston Pitching coach Burt Hooton missed the
game for personal reasons. Triple-A pitching coach Jim Hickey
replaced him. ... Jose Hernandez didn't strike out Wednesday
against Houston, leaving him one short of Bobby Bonds' major league
record of 189 set in 1970. Hernandez' last strikeout was against
the Astros in Milwaukee Sept. 18. He has gone 12 at-bats without a
strikeout since then. ... The Brewers are 7-15 in Minute Maid Park.