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Streaking Brewers rally to extend run

THE streaking Milwaukee Brewers scored three runs in the seventh inning to overcome the Houston Astros 4-3 on Thursday for their eighth win in nine contests.

Prince Fielder came through with a two-RBI single to tie the game and Corey Hart had the go-ahead double as the Brewers overcame a 3-0 deficit against Houston starter Roy Oswalt.

"It's nice when you can find a way to win when a guy like that is starting for the other team," Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun told reporters.

Four Milwaukee (26-15) relievers combined to throw four scoreless innings and Troy Hoffman recorded his 11th save of the year.

Houston jumped on top with a two-run home run from Hunter Pence in the second, and a solo shot from Miguel Tejada in the fourth.

Shortstop Tejada, who has been swinging a hot bat and came into the game batting .425 with three homers in his last 11 games, finished 2-for-4.

The Astros (18-21) had a chance to score another run in the fifth but Lance Berkman was called out on a close play at home plate that resulted in the ejection of both Berkman and manager Cecil Cooper, who argued the call. Braun picked up an RBI when he grounded into a fielder's choice in the fifth to help Milwaukee get a run back.

Brewers starter Jeff Suppan pitched five innings and allowed three runs before turning it over to his bullpen in the no-decision.

Oswalt was enjoying a solid day on the mound for Houston before reaching the seventh. He finished 6 1/3 innings and struck out seven batters while surrendering 10 hits and three runs.

The team's annual top pitcher, Oswalt is just 1-2 in this campaign and is throwing well below his usual standards. "(Oswalt) threw a lot of pitches there, but he still battled and he showed why he's one of the best pitchers in the league," Cooper said.

"Even in the seventh - it took quite a bit out of him. We have to find a way to shut it down in an inning without giving up the lead right there."

Elsewhere, pitcher Adam Wainwright came within one out of St. Louis' second complete game in a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs, as the Cardinals won 3-1.

St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols hit a first-inning homer that knocked out a letter on and electronic advertisement in left field. Wainwright allowed five hits in 8 2-3 innings, striking out seven with one walk.

The Cubs, limited to two runs in the series, have lost four in a row and also have dropped five of six to the Cardinals.

Elsewhere, it was: Phillies 12, Reds 5; Padres 3, Giants 2; Rockies 9, Braves 0; Diamondbacks 4, Marlins 3; and Nationals 5, Pirates 4.

In the American League, Jason Bay set a Boston record with his 11th straight homer with runners on base as the Red Sox won 5-1 on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays.

The three wins have moved Boston within half a game of Toronto atop the AL East Division.

Bay hit his 13th homer of the year, a two-run shot in a three-run first inning, and Boston led 5-0 before Toronto got a run in the seventh.

In other AL action, it was: Tigers 4, Rangers 3; Yankees 7, Orioles 4; Angels 3, Mariners 0; Indians 8, Royals 3; Twins 20, White Sox 1; and Rays 6, Athletics 5.


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