Astros drop into cellar with ninth straight loss


Norichika Aoki and Ryan Braun hit back-to-back homers in the top of the first inning as the Milwaukee Brewers sent the Astros to their ninth straight defeat. Scott Moore got Houston on the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning with a solo blast but that was all the offense the Astros could muster.

Yovani Gallardo (7-6) got the win and J.A. Happ (6-9) was saddled with the loss in a 7-1 game. To add insult to injury Livan Hernandez handled the punchless Astros offense for the the final two innings of the game. Hernandez, who was released by the Astros at the end of Spring Training, allowed only one hit but was given a warning by home plate umpire Rob Drake after grazing Jason Castro with a pitch in the ninth. Drake was under the impression that Hernandez intentionally threw at Castro in retaliation for Ryan Braun being plunked by Rhiner Cruz earlier in the inning. I would have to agree because Hernandez is known for his pinpoint control, not his velocity. Rhiner Cruz, on the other hand, had no idea where his pitches were going. Braun just happened to be in the wrong place (the batter’s box) at the wrong time (while Cruz was pitching.)

The Astros totaled only five hits in the game, as the offense continues to scuffle. Tomorrow Wandy Rodriguez and Zach Grienke face off in game that is sure to attract a number of scouts. The two starting pitchers are considered to be hot commodities as the trade deadline rapidly approaches.