MILWAUKEE (AP) -Lorenzo Cain stood in the middle of the clubhouse watching television with an awe-struck look on his face. The images engrossing him? Highlights of the rookie's big day.
Cain drove in the first three runs of his career and Casey McGehee hit a three-run homer, helping the Brewers beat the Houston Astros 11-6 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
``That's nice to get to sit back and watch yourself on TV. That's amazing, man,' said Cain, a centerfield prospect delayed last year because of a knee injury. ``A lot of people don't get things like that. I'm going to enjoy it. This is just unbelievable. I can't even believe it.'
McGehee drove a ball into the Milwaukee bullpen in left-center field in the fourth to make it 11-4, after just missing a three-run homer in the first with an RBI double off the wall.
Cain, who made his first major league start Friday, hit a sacrifice fly in the first off Wesley Wright (1-2) and chased the left-hander in his next at-bat in the third with a two-run double that gave Milwaukee a 6-2 lead.
Both rosters were loaded with young players for two teams out of postseason contention.
Even though Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart and Ryan Braun have been regulars for years, no Brewers starter was older than 28. Braun and Hart are signed long-term, while Fielder and Weeks can be free agents after 2011.
``Ownership wants to put a great product out there,' manager Ken Macha said. ``Signing Corey, they'd like to do the same with Rickie and Prince, but they've got Corey and Braunie for a bunch of years and McGehee is only in his second year, so he's going to be here for a while and we've got these young guys at the bottom of the lineup, so yeah, we've got some talent here.'
Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo (11-5) allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings and got a lot of support for the second straight start. After getting three runs on average in his last 20 appearances, the 24-year-old right-hander has received 24 runs in the past two games.
Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to 14 games, but it's been a disappointing road trip for Houston, which came into this series one game removed from a seven-game winning streak that included a sweep of the Brewers at Minute Maid Park. Now, the Astros will start a 10-game homestand on Monday night against Atlanta having lost four straight.
``A lot of the games we were in the there until the end and today we let it get away from us early, especially myself,' Wright said. ``Terrible location today - probably one of the worst days for location for me I've had so far this year. It was really unfortunate because I think we had a chance to really win this game today if I could've come close.'
Besides Cain, Milwaukee's other rookies in the lineup chipped in, too. Alcides Escobar had an RBI single and Jonathan Lucroy added a run-scoring double in the third that made it 8-2.
``We're all trying to establish ourselves,' Cain said. ``We're all young players and we're going out there trying to prove ourselves, just playing hard.'
The organization likes Cain against left-handed pitchers, but aren't yet sold that he can be an everyday player. He'll certainly get some more opportunities down the stretch. Macha said Cain would get a chance during the next series with the Diamondbacks that starts on Monday.
``I'm going to go out and play hard. Every time my name is called, I'm going to go try to take advantage of it,' Cain said. ``When my name is in the lineup, I'm going to give the team all I have.'
Notes: Braun, mired in the worst season of his young career, slammed his bat down in relief following a two-run single on the ninth pitch in Milwaukee's four-run first after battling back from an 0-2 count. He's now on an eight-game hitting streak. ... Macha said career saves leader Trevor Hoffman and rookie John Axford would share the closer's role the rest of the season. Hoffman, who signed an $8 million, one-year deal this offseason, is three saves away from 600 and earned his first in nearly three months Saturday night, while Axford has converted 16 of 17. ... Wright threw 29 balls and 28 strikes, allowing seven runs in 2 1-3 innings. ... Weeks grounded into a rare double play in the second inning - his second in 526 plate appearances this year.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved