Houston, TX – Rickie Weeks struck the go-ahead two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Houston Astros, 3-1, in the middle test of a three-game interleague series at Minute Maid Park.
Josh Prince drew a walk off Erik Bedard to start the frame. After Logan Schafer delivered a sacrifice bunt, Bedard was replaced by Hector Ambriz (1-4). Weeks then crushed a 1-2 slider into the stands in left to give the Brewers the lead for good.
"Bedard was outstanding, and he wanted [to go back out]," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "He gave us everything he had, too. He went back out there to start the eighth with the notion we were going to take him through Weeks. He did a tremendous job and pitched well enough to win."
John Axford (3-3) pitched a scoreless seventh to pick up the win while Francisco Rodriguez escaped trouble in the ninth to notch his fifth save of the season.
Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse gave up one run on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts over six frames.
"That's a good ballgame to win," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "They got a slider up to [Weeks], and that's a big hit. We've been needing big hits, and that's a big hit."
J.D. Martinez drove in the lone run while Jose Altuve went 3-for-4 with three stolen bases for the Astros, who were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base.
Bedard gave up one run on four hits and two walks while striking out eight over 7 1/3 innings.
The Astros got on the board in the first. Altuve hit an infield single with one out, stole third base after Jason Castro drew a walk, and scored on Martinez's sacrifice fly.
Milwaukee did not get a runner in scoring position until the sixth when Rickie Weeks and Jean Segura connected on back-to-back two-out singles. However, Carlos Gomez grounded out to third to end the frame.
Houston had a chance to extend its lead in the home half. Altuve delivered a leadoff single to left and stole second and third base. Chris Carter drew a two-out walk to put runners at the corners, but Carlos Pena flew out to right.
With Ambriz still pitching in the ninth, Aramis Ramirez smashed a 1-0 pitch to left for the final margin.
In the ninth, Rodriguez gave up consecutive one-out singles by Pena and Justin Maxwell, but got Matt Dominguez to pop out to first and struck out Ronny Cedeno to end the game.
The Astros officially signed Stanford pitcher Mark Appel, the top overall pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday ... Bedard has allowed just seven earned runs in six games (four starts) at home ... Prince was recalled from Triple-A Nashville prior to the game, as outfielder Norichika Aoki was placed on the paternity list ... Ramirez has 23 home runs at Minute Maid Park in his career, second-most among Astros' opponents, behind only Albert Pujols (24).