Mills ejected, Astros fall to Brewers
MILWAUKEE – Astros manager Brad Mills liked that his players continued to battle despite falling behind big. He was much more muted on why he didn't get to stick around to watch it.
Mills was ejected in the second inning along with pitching coach Brad Arnsberg for arguing balls and strikes, and the Houston Astros lost to the Milwaukee Brewers 14-7 on Friday night.
"It was unfortunate," Mills said. "That's where I want to go with it."
Nelson Figueroa (0-3) allowed a three-run homer to Ryan Braun in Braun's first game since signing a $105 million, five-year contract extension and a solo shot to Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo.
Home plate umpire Paul Schrieber ejected Arnsberg and crew chief Joe West booted Mills from the game following a mound visit after Figueroa walked the first two batters in the second inning.
"They were having a discussion and all of a sudden he got thrown out of the game," Figueroa said. "It is good to see them standing up for us. I don't know what was said to warrant having them both thrown out."
It got a lot worse from there. Milwaukee scored in every inning but the first and eighth, even though Mills praised the team's effort.
"It was good to see the guys keep battling. Even though they got down, they kept fighting to stay in the game," the manager said. "That's what make those guys out there special. They really did a good job."
The Astros fell to 0-13 when allowing four or more runs.
Braun's shot in the third inning landed in the Brewers' bullpen in left field to put Milwaukee up for good 4-2 and sparked a curtain call. Braun's extension will keep him in Milwaukee through 2020, and he got a standing ovation in his first at-bat before he did his damage in his second plate appearance.
"I missed my spot terribly," Figueroa said. "He made me pay for it. In my previous at-bats against him in my career, he has gone the other way. I felt like he was trying to cover the outer part of the plate, so I get inside on him, but I didn't get inside enough. That's why he's worth what he worth. I made a mistake and he made me pay for it."
Gallardo's homer made it 5-3 in the fourth.
"It was just stupid judgment on my part," Figueroa said. "I threw a fastball wanting him to hit a fly ball, but he didn't miss it. You tip your cap and don't make the same mistake twice."
Yuniesky Betancourt drove in two runs to give Milwaukee a 7-4 lead in the fifth with a hard single underneath the glove of Astros third baseman Matt Downs that was first called an error.
"Anytime you give a big league club more than three outs, it is tough," Mills said. "It kind of let things get away."
Casey McGehee's double with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth off reliever Jose Valdez scored two and Mark Kotsay followed with a two-run single that made it 11-4. Gomez's three-run shot off Enerio Del Rosario made it 14-6.
The Astros went ahead 2-1 on Michael Bourn's run-scoring single and Angel Sanchez's sacrifice fly in the third before Braun erased it.
Houston cut it to 4-3 on Humberto Quintero's single in the fourth and 5-4 on Hunter Pence's fielder's choice in the fifth, but couldn't match Milwaukee's potent offense despite scoring twice more in the seventh and once in the eighth.
"It was frustrating," Bourn said. "We kept trying to battle back against them, but couldn't get over the hump. Finally they just broke away from us."
NOTES: Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks (left pinkie sprain) left in the sixth inning. He slid headfirst on a stolen base earlier in the inning. ... Brewers OF Brandon Boggs was called up Friday to replace OF Nyjer Morgan (thigh bruise). Morgan went on the 15-day DL on Thursday, retroactive to April 18. ... Astros 2B Clint Barmes (broken left hand) will take infield practice on Saturday, then leave for a rehab assignment at Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... Astros 2B Bill Hall, who played for the Brewers from 2002-09, made his first appearance back at Miller Park.