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Clemens allows season-high three homers

HOUSTON (AP) -- Roger Clemens was exactly what the Milwaukee
Brewers' ailing offense needed.

Clemens tied a season high by allowing three homers and the
Brewers stopped a four-game losing streak by beating the Astros 7-6
Friday night on Wes Helms' ninth-inning sacrifice fly.

"I was grinding. That's the word we use right now," Clemens
said. "We're all grinding. We just have to fight and scratch for
everything."

Clemens, who didn't get a decision, left trailing 5-0 after
allowing five runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings.

Scott Podsednik broke the Brewers' 25-inning scoreless streak
with a home run on the second pitch of the game. Keith Ginter then
homered leading off the sixth, Geoff Jenkins singled, Lyle Overbay
walked and Ben Grieve homered for a 5-0 lead.

Clemens walked one and struck out seven, raising his career
total to 4,232. He remains stuck at 321 wins, two behind Nolan Ryan
and Don Sutton for 12th place on the career list. He also hit a
bloop single in the third, his sixth hit of the season. But he was
picked off at first by Chris Capuano, drawing groans from the
crowd.

Milwaukee, which scored its most runs since the All-Star break,
had been shut out in consecutive games by St. Louis and held to
only 14 runs in its previous eight games.

"It just goes to show that any day you can break out of a
slump," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "We go up there against
a Hall of Famer (Clemens) and score five runs. That's just how fast
you can break out of a slump."

With the score 6-all, Overbay doubled off Brad Lidge (2-5) to
start the ninth, took third on Grieve's groundout and came around
on Helms' flyout to deep center.

Luis Vizcaino (3-2) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Dan Kolb
earned his 29th save in 30 chances by pitching a perfect ninth.

"That just shows how tough we can be as a team to come back,"
Kolb said. "This will be a momentum builder ... it would have been
a tough blow to lose after the way we battled back."

Milwaukee (48-47) managed to stay in fourth place in the NL
Central, 1½ games ahead of the Astros (47-49). Houston has lost 11
of 16, falling to 3-5 since Phil Garner replaced Jimy Williams as
manager during the All-Star break.

"It's tough to lose a game like that right now, especially the
way we lost it," Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell said. "At this
point in the season, this is a very difficult loss."

Houston had closed to 5-4 against Capuano in the sixth on RBI
singles by Jeff Kent and pinch-hitter Mike Lamb around a two-run
single by pinch-hitter Jose Vizcaino. Dave Burba relieved and
quickly ended the inning by striking out Craig Biggio and retiring
Adam Everett on a flyout.

Overbay's run-scoring single against Kirk Bullinger made it 6-4
in the seventh, but Houston tied the score in the bottom half when
Jeff Bagwell hit an RBI double with two outs and scored on Morgan
Ensberg's single.

But it wasn't enough. Even against the NL's second-worst
offense.

"I threw everything at them but the kitchen sink," Garner
said. "I thought everybody fought very hard. This was a team we
wanted to beat because they're right ahead of us."

Game notes
Grieve, 0-for-11 coming in, was 2-for-3 with a homer and a
double. ... Podsednik's leadoff homer was his fourth of the season
and fifth of his career, moving him into a fourth-place tie with
Fernando Vina on the franchise list. ... Astros CF Carlos Beltran
made a great sliding catch on Overbay's drive to right-center in
the fourth.