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HOU@MIL: Wallace belts a solo homer to take the lead

MILWAUKEE -- Astros manager Brad Mills credited Jordan Lyles for making the most of a difficult situation Wednesday, one in which his defense didn't do him any favors by committing four errors behind him, and in which a missed call at third base in the fifth inning helped seal his fate.

The Brewers were more than willing to take advantage of everything the Astros were able to give them and hit four home runs, including a two-run shot by Rickie Weeks in a six-run fifth inning, to sweep the Astros, 13-4, at Miller Park.

The loss overshadowed a big day at the plate by Astros first baseman Brett Wallace, who went 3-for-4 and clubbed a pair of home runs -- his first multihomer game of his career -- to drive in three of Houston's four runs in his third game back from Triple-A.

"Since I've been back, the biggest thing has been getting comfortable back in the lineup and being back up here," he said. "I definitely felt like I found that rhythm up there. I definitely wish we could have gotten a win today, but it felt good to contribute, and hopefully I can keep it going and contribute to some wins."

Lyles (2-8) worked five innings and allowed nine hits and nine runs (seven earned), including a pair of homers, in addition to throwing a wild pitch and hitting a batter. He limited the damage to three runs despite his defense making four errors behind him in the first four innings.

"I was proud of myself for doing that early on, but what sticks out is the big inning," he said.

The Brewers sent nine batters to the plate in the fifth inning and scored six times, including homers by Weeks and Cesar Izturis, to take a 9-2 lead. Milwaukee added a homer from Ryan Braun in the sixth and a two-run shot from Jonathan Lucroy in the seventh.

Brewers starter Mike Fiers (5-4) held the Astros to eight hits and two runs in six innings.

"They're still a Major League team, and a win is a win, and certainly a sweep is a sweep," Braun said. "It's not easy to sweep any team at this level, regardless of who they have or who they don't have."

Astros third baseman Scott Moore committed a pair of errors in the first inning that led to an unearned run. The Astros tied the game at 1 in the third on an RBI single by Jose Altuve that scored Jordan Schafer from second base.

Wallace hit a long solo homer to right field to lead off the fourth -- his first since his return to the Major Leagues -- to put the Astros ahead, 2-1, but things quickly turned sour for Lyles in the fourth.

With the bases loaded and two outs, Izturis hit a roller up the middle that was backhanded behind second base by Altuve, who tried to flip the ball out of his glove to shortstop Marwin Gonzalez covering second.

Altuve was charged with an error when his flip attempt couldn't be handled by Gonzalez, and a pair of runs scored to put the Brewers ahead, 3-2.

"With Jordan Lyles, he did a heck of a job getting out of the first inning," Mills said. "Those two errors probably cost him 15 pitches at that time. He really made some pitches and really did a good job. They only got that one run in the first inning. In the second inning again, he battled through it."

The fifth began with consecutive singles by Nyjer Morgan and Carlos Gomez, and they pulled off a double steal to move into scoring position, even though Morgan appeared to be tagged out at third. Braun followed with a two-run single on a 1-2 pitch.

"We get that call, which we didn't at third base when the guy's out stealing third, that's one out and Braun's got two strikes on him," Mills said. "The whole inning took a different complexion when that happened. From there, the inning kind of went downhill, obviously."

Lyles didn't make any excuses.

"I've got to bear down and try to punch out Braun," he said. "I had a chance."

Braun homered with two outs in the sixth against Fernando Rodriguez following an epic 14-pitch battle in which he fouled off seven pitches in a row at 3-2.

"I fouled off a bunch of borderline pitches and eventually got one to hit and fortunately got the barrel to it," Braun said. "He threw a couple of offspeed pitches early in the at-bat, but he kept throwing fastballs -- nobody on base -- and he obviously has a really good arm."

The best development of the day for the Astros was Wallace, who homered to right-center field in the fourth and left-center field in the eighth. He has four homers in 48 at-bats with the Astros this year after hitting five in 336 at-bats last year in Houston.

"Ever since he signed, everybody felt he was going to have some pop," Mills said. "I think the biggest thing is starting to come around now. We saw it last time he was up here the way he started to swing the bat, and he continued to swing the bat like that in Oklahoma City, and now it's great to see him put those at-bats together and hit the ball like he did."

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