HOUSTON (AP) - Brett Myers just couldn't keep the Brewers in the ballpark.
The Astros' ace allowed three solo home runs - including back-to-back shots to Ryan Braum and Prince Fielder in the first inning - Houston was shut out for the first time this season in a 5-0 loss to Milwaukee on Friday night.
Myers, who gave up four runs and five hits over six innings, said wind was a factor in the home runs, but not an excuse for them.
``(Astros center fielder) Michael Bourn tells me he had two of the homers lined up, that he just camped and they just kept going,' said Myers, who struck out eight. ``I got to believe him. The ball that Fielder hit to (right fielder) Hunter (Pence) just kept going, too.
``Still, I have to make better pitches in those situations; I can't blame it on anything.'
It was the Astros' third straight loss at Minute Maid Park, where they are 5-9.
Astros first baseman Brett Wallace left the game after the seventh inning following a hard collision at first base with Fielder.
Wallace, who was 2 for 2 and is hitting a team-best .388 in his first full season in the majors, was listed as day to day with a right hip contusion. Wallace has hit safely in nine straight games and 17 of 18.
``Honestly the biggest thing is to come in tomorrow and get some treatment,' Wallace said. ``I think I should be good to go. That's obviously in (manager Brad Mills') hands as far as what he decides to do, but I think I'll be good to go.'
The Astros entered the game with their best pitcher on the mound, an offense averaging a respectable 4.6 runs per game and a 67-33 record at home against the Brewers.
Instead, Myers got his first loss as an Astro at Minute Maid Park. Myers entered the game with a 9-0 record and a 2.10 ERA in 16 previous home starts.
Myers opened the game by striking out Rickie Weeks, but it took him nine pitches to force Carlos Gomez to ground out for the second out of the inning.
Braun punished Myers on the next at-bat, placing his 10th home run of the season just out of reach of Bourn in deep center field.
Then it was Fielder's turn to take Myers deep - 450 feet deep to right field - for his fifth home run of the season. By the time Myers got off the mound, he had thrown 27 pitches and his team trailed 2-0.
Still, Myers said he had no problem settling in.
``I felt I made pretty good pitches,' Myers said. ``My slider wasn't as sharp early on, but I realized that later and started throwing more changeups and curveballs and was able to get through six.
``But honestly, for me, if I punch out eight guys I shouldn't give up four runs, because that means my stuff is good that day.'
Fielder got Myers again in the third with an RBI double, and Yuniesky Betancourt made it 4-0 with a solo homer of his own an inning later.
``I feel like the two pitches to Braun and Betancourt were not good pitches, but I don't feel like they should've been homers,' Myers said. ``But that's part of baseball. When the wind's blowing like that, that's what happens. There's nothing I can do about it now.'
If the wind helped the Brewers, it did nothing for the Astros, who could get little going against Shaun Marcum (3-1), who pitched three-hit ball and struck out six through seven innings before letting the bullpen finish off the job.
To Mills, the game came down to the home runs and the lack of run support.
``If you look at (Myers') numbers, it was five hits and eight strikeouts,' Mills said. ``Obviously the three home runs hurt, and their guy pitched pretty well.
``The offense wasn't there, and that was about it.'
Notes: Fielder needs three home runs to reach 200 for his career. He is fifth on the Brewers' career homer list. Clint Barmes was activated form the disabled list Thursday night and started at shortstop. Barmes broke his left hand when hit by a pitch in spring training. He hit .400 in four minor league games this week. Houston has won six of its last eight home games against the Brewers. ... Bourn's first inning stolen base gives him 18 attempts in a row without being caught, dating back to last season. Wallace extended his hitting streak to nine games with a first inning single and then stole a base for the first time in his career.
The Associated Press News Service
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