MILWAUKEE (AP) — Joey Wiemer and Owen Miller homered, Colin Rea combined on a five-hitter and the Milwaukee Brewers stopped the Houston Astros’ eight-game winning streak with a 6-0 victory on Tuesday night.
Houston second baseman Jose Altuve left in the bottom of the sixth inning because he was feeling ill. The 33-year-old, playing his fourth game of the season after recovering from a broken right thumb, walked off the field with athletic trainers during a pitching change.
“He was feeling sick. That’s why he called us out there,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “We took him out because we thought it was the best thing to do, for precautionary reasons.”
Rea (1-3) gave up four hits in 5 1/3 innings, struck out four batters and walked two. Joel Payamps finished the sixth, and Elvis Peguero, Peter Strzelecki and Bryse Wilson pitched an inning each in Milwaukee’s fifth shutout this season.
Houston was blanked for the second time. The other was a 2-0 loss to San Francisco on May 2.
“He was just sharp,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Rea. “We skipped his last start, which I think ended up being a good thing just to get him a little rest. He pitched like somebody who was fresh and ready to go.”
Rea earned his first win as a starter since July 2016 with San Diego.
“That’s a pretty good lineup over there,” Rea said. “I thought we worked both sides of the plate really well. The fastball had some good life to it.”
J.P. France (1-1) gave up two runs — one earned — and five hits in 5 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts and one walk.
Wiemer put Milwaukee ahead in the third with a 430-foot solo drive over the left-field bullpen that was the Brewers’ second-longest homer this season.
Miller singled in the fourth and came home when catcher Yainer Diaz’s throw skipped into center for an error.
Brian Anderson hit a two-run double in the eighth off Rafael Montero and Miller, who had three hits for the third time in the last 11 games, followed with his third homer this season.
“This is a guy that got a whole bunch of at-bats last year,” Counsell said. “That’s so necessary for a young hitter in this league. You learn and make adjustments. You combine that with that talent he has as a hitter and he’s got a good little streak going here.”
An eight-time All-Star and the 2017 AL MVP, Altuve broke his thumb on March 18 when hit by a pitch from Daniel Bard while playing for Venezuela against the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic.
Altuve missed Houston’s first 43 games, played in a three-game series at Oakland last weekend, then was rested in Monday’s series opener against the Brewers. He was 1 for 3 Tuesday and is 3 for 12 this season.
Baker, 73, had an on-field chat with long-time Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker, 89, during batting practice. Combined, the pair have well more than a century of ties to the major leagues and were even teammates for a brief time. “I was on his team. I think I was 19 or 20 years old. Uke was a funny guy even back then. He’s always good to be around.”
Astros: OF Yordan Alvarez was hit on the right elbow by a 93 mph pitch in the first but remained in the game.
Brewers: Counsell said the team was awaiting results on imaging of LHP Eric Lauer, who went on the 15-day injured list on Monday with a right shoulder impingement.
Astros: RHP Brandon Bielak (1-1, 2.89 ERA) will make 12th career start and first against the Brewers when the three-game series finished Wednesday.
Brewers: RHO Adrian Houser (0-0, 3.07) will make his fourth start of the season. Houser is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in one start and one relief appearance against the Astros.