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HOU@MIL: Altuve goes 4-for-5, scores three times

MILWAUKEE -- By the time the fourth inning was over on Wednesday afternoon, Jose Altuve, J.D. Martinez and Carlos Lee -- the second, third and fourth hitters in the order -- had each been on base three times, setting the tone for a big offensive day for the Astros.

The biggest hit of the day, however, came a few innings later and from farther down in the order, when catcher Chris Snyder chopped a single down the right-field line in the seventh to plate the tie-breaking run and help the Astros snap an 11-game losing streak against the Brewers with a 7-5 win at Miller Park.

The Astros got contributions from up and down the lineup, led by a career-high four hits and three runs scored by Altuve and Martinez's 3-for-4 effort and three RBIs.

Houston reached double-digit hits (14) for the 10th time in 19 games this season, including its fourth in a row.

"Any time you get guys at the top of the order and they happen to be right next to each other getting on base and driving the ball, you're going to give yourself some opportunities, and that's what those guys did," manager Brad Mills said.

Snyder's hit, which defied the defensive shift the Brewers had in place in anticipation of him pulling the ball, scored Brian Bogusevic from third base to break a 4-4 tie. Martinez added a two-run single the following inning to cap his big day.

"That was an emergency hack right there," said Snyder, who went 2-for-4 with a run scored. "The ball got on me, and I got enough of it and put it in the right spot and got the run across."

Altuve, who was moved back up to the second spot in the order, became the first Astros player to get four hits in a game since Michael Bourn did so last July against Boston. Altuve batted .615 in the three-game series in Milwaukee and is tied for first in the National League in multi-hit games, with 10.

"Like I said before, [it doesn't] matter where I'm hitting -- second, sixth, eighth," Altuve said. "I just want to see my name in the lineup and put my uniform on and go play hard. I think it's good hitting No. 2, because you have J.D. and Carlos behind you. I think that's good support."

Snyder, who's about a foot taller than the 5-foot-5 Altuve, could only shake his head in appreciation for the 21-year-old.

"Hey, man, I don't care how tall you are or how old you are, 4-for-5 is 4-for-5," Snyder said. "That's a big day. He had a great series. Every time you look up, he's getting a knock and getting on base."

Brett Myers pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save, surviving a two-out triple by Carlos Gomez and getting slugger Ryan Braun to bounce out to end the game.

The bullpen worked four innings in relief of starter J.A. Happ and allowed one run. Wilton Lopez (2-0) got the win.

"That was definitely a fistfight out there for both teams," Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "We kind of traded blows throughout the game, and they came out on top. I think they're very underrated. They have a fairly young team, and I think they're going to be good down the road. If you make mistakes, they will punish you."

Brewers starter Shaun Marcum had at least two Astros on base in all but one of the five innings he worked and got big outs to strand the bases loaded in the first and fourth. Martinez had an RBI double in the first, and the Astros scored three times in the second to take a two-run lead on RBI singles by Altuve and Lee, plus a Marcum wild pitch that allowed Martinez to score.

"We felt like [Marcum] made some mistakes, and we didn't miss them," Martinez said. "We were aggressive early but patient; we weren't swinging at a lot of his junk in the dirt. We were just laying off a lot of his good pitches and making him throw strikes, and when he did throw strikes, we made him pay."

Happ, who had delivered a quality start in his first three outings, fell short on Wednesday by allowing four runs, seven hits and four walks while striking out eight batters in five innings in his shortest outing of the season.

"It was a tough one," Happ said. "It seemed like both of us out there struggled a little bit, but I really liked the way we battled all game. We had a lot of opportunities and we stayed on them all game, and it was nice to see us working them the whole game. It was a good team win."

Center fielder Jordan Schafer singled and scored in the eighth inning to extend his streak of reaching base to 19 games to start the season. Martinez reached base four times to raise his on-base percentage to .432.

"We're in every game, and everyone's been saying it and I'm sure you're tired of hearing about it, but we just can't control it," Martinez said. "Every game we're right in it, and the ball just doesn't go our way. This game ... It went our way." Comments