MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Houston Astros finally get to go home after a season-long 10-game road trip. They'll be without two of their biggest stars.
The Astros traded center fielder Michael Bourn early Sunday morning and Jason Bourgeois hit a three-run home run while playing in Bourn's old spot, but Houston was swept by the Milwaukee Brewers after a 5-4 loss on Sunday.
It was an ugly end to a long stretch away from Minute Maid Park when they finished 2-8 and saw Bourn as well as All-Star Hunter Pence dealt in the span of less than 48 hours.
``I think everybody understands what's going on. It's just kind of the way it is,' Astros right fielder Jason Michaels said. ``It's tough to lose a teammate. Again, that's just part of the business, and the way things go on.'
Houston remained busy retooling its team for the second straight year, but failed to work out one final deal to move Wandy Rodriguez.
In this one, there was no goodbye for Bourn in the middle of the game as when Pence was removed Friday night to head to Philadelphia.
Bourn, a two-time Gold Glove winner, never came to Miller Park after he was traded four hours before the final game of this series.
Houston (35-73) is well on its way to its first 100-loss season in franchise history. After dealing away Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman last year, they've sent Bourn, Pence and second baseman Jeff Keppinger packing in the past 13 days to acquire Braves outfielder Jordan Schafer, eight minor leaguers and a player to be named.
``It's been a long trip. A lot of emotions because of what's happened the last three days. At the same time, I think things are beginning to settle down,' said Astros manager Brad Mills, who wasn't worried about a carry-over effect when the Astros return home to begin playing out the final two months of the season. ``They were attached to Bourn and Pence, there's no doubt. You see how they played. They went after it and played hard and came up short. They also see the opportunities right in front of them as well. ``
Bourgeois hit his first home run in almost two years with a three-run shot in the fourth to give Houston a 3-2 lead, but Milwaukee tied it in the bottom of the inning on Jonathan Lucroy's double and went ahead in the sixth on Yuniesky Betancourt's fielder's choice.
Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez (4-2) failed to protect the lead in the eighth after he threw a wild pitch with runners on second and third with two outs that allowed Bourgeois to score and tie the game at 4, costing starter Chris Narveson the chance at the victory.
But Milwaukee bounced back off Fernando Rodriguez (2-1) when Ryan Braun doubled off the wall and Prince Fielder punched a single just past the infield into center. Braun easily beat Bourgeois' throw to the plate and the Astros failed to get a base runner against John Axford in the ninth.
While the future looks bright for the Astros if general manager Ed Wade's moves pan out, the present isn't so pretty.
``Obviously Bourn was a great teammate and so was Hunter. We'll definitely miss them, but we've just got to keep our head down and keep working hard, just focus on what we have in here and keep going,' first baseman Brett Wallace said. ``We just acquired a lot, and they have an opportunity to keep working hard and get up here. You're not going to trade Mike, you're not going to trade Hunter unless you believe in the people you're getting back for the long haul.'
NOTES: The Astros are expected to call up OF Luis Durango on Monday to fill Bourn's spot on the roster. ... Schafer is on the 15-day DL with a fractured finger, but the Astros believe he'll be ready to be inserted in the starting lineup by mid-August. Schafer is hitting .240 with a homer, seven RBIs and 15 steals in 52 games for the Braves. ... Bourgeois has two career home runs. Both were hit at Miller Park. His other was as a member of the Brewers on Aug. 29, 2009. ... The Astros went 5 for 5 in stolen base attempts during the series. ... Houston was swept for the 10th time this season.
The Associated Press News Service
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