Series: Game 2 of 4

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/26)

Game 1: Thursday, September 25
Game 2: Friday, September 26
Game 3: Saturday, September 27
Game 4: Sunday, September 28

Brewers 12

(67-93, 36-43 away)

Astros 5

(86-74, 47-32 home)

    8:05 PM ET, September 26, 2003

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    MIL 360010200 12 11 1
    HOU 131000000 5 14 4

    W: D. Burba (1-1)

    L: J. Robertson (15-9)

    S: G. Rusch (1)

    Sexson feasts on Astros' pitching

    HOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston Astros quickly put themselves right back into a jam.

    Richie Sexson homered twice and doubled as the Milwaukee Brewers beat Houston 12-5 Friday night, dropping the Astros a half-game behind idle Chicago in the NL Central.

    "What we've got to do is sleep real fast and come back here tomorrow ready to go," Astros manager Jimy Williams said. "We just didn't execute like we're capable of and because of that we got ourselves in a hole and they were up 9-1."

    There was no need for scoreboard watching at Minute Maid Park. The Pittsburgh-Cubs game at Wrigley Field was rained out earlier in the day and a doubleheader was scheduled for Saturday.

    If the Cubs sweep the three-game series with the Pirates, they are the champions.

    "This is not the end of the world," Astros star Jeff Bagwell said. "All it means is we've got to win our next two and hope they lose one of three. You don't expect games like this late in a season, in a pennant drive. But I guess those things happen."

    Sexson hit an RBI double during a six-run second inning. He hit a solo homer off Rick White in the fifth and a two-run shot in the seventh off Kirk Bullinger.

    Sexson has 45 homers this season, tying his own franchise record set in 2001. Gorman Thomas also hit 45 homers in 1979. It was Sexson's fourth multihomer game this season and the 16th of his career.

    "It's a good feeling to play the spoiler role," Sexson said. "That's where our intensity lies. That's how we get upbeat for the game. We take intensity from their crowd. We use that to get us going.

    "We saw Chicago got rained out so we knew this was a very important game for both teams."

    The Astros fell behind 3-0 in the first inning when Jeriome Robertson (15-9) forced in the first run with a bases-loaded walk and allowed an RBI single Wes Helms, and reliever Ricky Stone walked home the third run.

    That was just the beginning of the Astros' misery, who tied a team record with eight pitchers.

    The Brewers broke it open the next inning against Stone and Kirk Saarloos. All six runs scored after two outs and the burst was aided by two Astros errors.

    Brady Clark walked with two out and scored on Sexson's double. Mark Smith followed with an RBI single, Helms was intentionally walked and Saarloos came on and walked Keith Osik.

    Royce Clayton then dribbled a single down the third-base line. Saarloos lunged for the ball and threw wildly home for an error as two more runs scored.

    Wayne Franklin then hit an RBI single and Scott Podsednik had a grounder to second baseman Jeff Kent, who made misplayed the ball and allowed another run to score that made it 9-1.

    The Astros got one run in the first on Bagwell's double and two more scored in the second inning on pinch-hitter Mitch Meluskey's double and a single by Craig Biggio.

    Richard Hidalgo had a sacrifice fly and Adam Everett had an RBI single in the Houston third.

    Dave Burba (1-1) pitched 2 1-3 innings for the victory.

    Robertson, the club rookie record holder with 15 victories, threw 18 pitches, only seven for strikes. He allowed two hits and three earned runs.

    "I went out there and I felt fine," Robertson said. "Then something happened. I booted that first ball and once that happened I was leaving the ball up and away. Walks kill you.

    Game notes

    Sexson has hit more homers in a three-year span than any other Brewers player. He has 119 and has surpassed Thomas, who had 115 from 1978-80.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press