HOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston Astros couldn't deny their three-run rally in the seventh inning was unusual.
Pinch-hitter Jose Vizcaino tied the game with a single and the Astros added two more runs in the big inning on a wild pitch and an error and beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 on Friday night."We managed to get three runs with strategically placed balls," manager Phil Garner said with a smile. "We got a couple of things to go our way then, and it makes you think somebody's looking out for us right now."With two outs in the seventh, Chris Burke singled and Brad Ausmus walked to chase Doug Davis and bring on Kane Davis. Vizcaino singled to make it 1-1 with Ausmus going to third. Kane Davis then threw the wild pitch, and Ausmus scored to make it 2-1.After Willy Taveras walked, Craig Biggio hit a dribbler down the first base line and Kane Davis hit Biggio with the ball trying to throw him out. It was ruled a single, and Vizcaino scored on the subsequent throwing error for a 3-1 lead."I didn't want him to tag me," Biggio said of the play. "I was just trying to run hard, and when he and I got there together, I tried to avoid the tag by putting my arms up. We caught a break."The Astros, who had lost five of six games, will take it."Beggars can't be choosers," Ausmus said of the rally. "We'll take anything right now, even if it's five straight errors by the opponent."Vizcaino was 0-for-13 before his hit in the ninth."I've been trying everything to get out of this slump," he said. "I've tried different stances, different bats, everything.
"But I didn't feel pressure in that at-bat. Just because you're not doing well, you can't put extra pressure on yourself. I thought I could get a hit," he said.Doug Davis (9-9) failed to win his 10th game for the 11th straight time. He has eight no-decisions to go with three losses in that span. He hasn't won since June 22 against Chicago."He does not deserve that," manager Ned Yost said. "He pitched a great game. I told him after the game, 'You're doing everything you can and I'm sorry it ended like that.' He's battling to get that 10th win, and we're all battling for him. Sometimes this game isn't fair."Davis, who scattered four hits and struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings, dropped to 0-6 in seven starts at Minute Maid Park."I was trying to be too fine, and I ended up walking him," Davis said, referring to Ausmus. "One run is a thin margin, and it's hard to be perfect. But thin margin or not, when you've got a one-run lead you're not in a position to walk anybody. You just can't do that."I'm not the only one who's frustrated. There are 30 other guys who are frustrated. It's not poor me, poor me. It's poor us," he said.The win moved the Astros a half-game ahead of Philadelphia and Florida in the NL wild-card race.Russ Springer (4-3) pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings for the win. After two relievers pitched another 1 1/3 innings, Brad Lidge got the last two outs for his 30th save.Jason Lane hit a two-run homer in the eighth to put Houston up 5-1.Damian Miller hit a two-run homer, his seventh of the season, off Mike Burns in the ninth to make it 5-3.Houston starter Ezequiel Astacio pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed one run and six hits.After Corey Hart led off the sixth with a double, Lyle Overbay's RBI single to right broke a scoreless tie.
Davis has struck out seven or more 12 times this season. ... Davis had his second balk of the season in the second inning. ... Biggio returned to the lineup after missing Thursday's after having two teeth pulled that day.