Lee's shot backs up 3-hitter in Astros' 5-0 win
HOUSTON – Carlos Lee hit a three-run homer before being taken to the hospital to have X-rays on his injured ribcage, and Bud Norris combined with three relievers on a three-hitter in the Houston Astros' 5-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
Jeff Fulchino, Fernando Abad and Mark Melancon combined for 1 1-3 hitless innings after Norris (2-1) left after 7 2-3 innings to hand Milwaukee its first shutout of the season.
Lee's home run, off Brewers starter Chris Narveson (1-2), came in the sixth and pushed Houston's lead to 4-0. That was the last at-bat of the day for Lee, who was injured in the seventh inning when teammate Angel Sanchez slid knee first into his ribs while the pair were going for Mark Kotsay's pop-fly double.
He was taken to the hospital for X-rays on the left side of his ribcage, but no further details on the injury were immediately available.
Norris struck out a season-high 11, allowed three hits and walked three in his longest outing of the season. He improved to 3-0 in five career starts against Milwaukee.
It is the second consecutive game Milwaukee's offense has scuffled against the Astros after Wandy Rodriguez threw eight shutout innings in a 2-1 Houston win Saturday night.
Norris didn't allow a hit until Jonathan Lucroy singled to lead off the third inning. He sailed through that inning and until there was one out in the seventh, retiring 13 straight, with five strikeouts.
Milwaukee's next hit came when Prince Fielder singled a ball right at Norris that bounced off his upper arm and to third baseman Matt Downs. Trainers checked on Norris after he was hit, but he remained in the game after throwing a couple of warmup pitches.
Norris then struck out Casey McGehee before Kotsay's double that led to Lee's injury. He escaped the jam by retiring Yuniesky Betancourt for the third out.
He walked Lucroy to open the eighth inning before he was chased after walking Carlos Gomez with two outs. Norris appeared to be upset he was taken out, but exited to a standing ovation and was replaced by Fulchino.
Matt Downs reached on an error by McGehee before scoring on Jason Bourgeois' two-out single that made it 5-0 in the seventh. Bourgeois advanced to second on that play when reliever Sergio Mitre overthrew first base for an error. Sanchez grounded out to end that inning.
Bill Hall hit Houston's third consecutive single with no outs in the second inning to drive in a run and give Houston a 1-0 lead. Lee and Brett Wallace both singled to set up Hall's RBI, with Wallace extending his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games.
Humberto Quintero singled after the Brewers turned a double play, but Norris struck out to end the inning.
Narveson settled down after the second, facing the minimum in the third, fourth and fifth innings. He didn't allow another hit until Bourgeois singled with no outs in the sixth inning. Pence singled after that to set up Lee's shot.
Narveson yielded seven hits and four runs with seven strikeouts in six innings.
Notes: Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said OF Nyjer Morgan (right thigh bruise) will be activated from the disabled list Tuesday. ... Houston reliever Wilton Lopez, on the disabled list with nerve irritation in his right elbow, could come off the DL as early as Monday.