HOUSTON – On a night when the Milwaukee Brewers struck out again and again, piling up a season-high 24 strikeouts against the Houston Astros, one big swing by Mike Moustakas made all those whiffs way easier to swallow.
Moustakas hit a two-run homer during Milwaukee’s three-run 14th inning, and the Brewers struck out 15 times against Houston ace Justin Verlander before rallying for a 6-3 victory over the Astros on Wednesday.
Christian Yelich started the 14th with a single against rookie Cionel Perez (1-1) for Milwaukee’s first hit since the ninth. After Ryan Braun lined out, Moustakas hit a drive to right for his 21st homer.
“Obviously, 24 punchouts isn’t what we were looking for, but . . . we got a W so we turned a negative into a positive and found a way to win against a great ballclub over there,” Moustakas said.
Jesus Aguilar added a pinch-hit RBI single as Milwaukee won for the fifth time in six games. Ryan Braun, Yasmani Grandal and Eric Thames also went deep for the Brewers, and Adrian Houser (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory.
“I bet you there’s not too many times a team struck out 24 times and won the game,” Yelich said. “All those weird baseball things happen and that’s another example of it. Honestly, it’s just a really good win and a hard-fought win.”
Verlander set a career high for Ks while allowing three runs in seven innings. The 2011 AL Cy Young Award winner led the way as Houston set a franchise record for strikeouts, surpassing its previous record of 23 during a 15-inning game on May 31, 2003, against the Chicago Cubs.
Houston had a 3-2 lead before Thames connected in the seventh inning for Milwaukee’s third homer off Verlander. It was Thames’ ninth of the season.
Verlander, who had fanned 14 four times in his career, struck out eight of his last 10 batters, including the side in the sixth.
Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff also yielded three runs and four hits in seven innings.
Mariners 9, Twins 6 (10)
In Minneapolis, Daniel Vogelbach went 4-for-5 with a homer, and Seattle took advantage of three 10th-inning Minnesota errors to score three unearned runs and pull out a victory.
The Mariners’ Shed Long hit his first major league home run, a three-run drive to cap a five-run eighth. Mallex Smith had three hits, including two doubles, for Seattle, which won for just the ninth time in its past 32 games.
Marlins 9, Cardinals 0
In Miami, Garrett Cooper hit a grand slam and fell a double short of the cycle, and Jordan Yamamoto, who was born in Pearl City, Hawaii, pitched seven scoreless innings to win his major league debut as the Marlins routed St. Louis.
Miami won the finale of a three-game series, snapping a six-game losing streak in which it totaled just 10 runs.
Cooper went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs. It was the second career grand slam for Cooper, who hit one May 23 against the Detroit Tigers.
Braves 8, Pirates 7 (11)
In Atlanta, Ozzie Albies drove in the winning run on an 11th-inning double, giving host the hosts a victory over Pittsburgh.
Giants 4, Padres 2
In San Francisco, the Giants took advantage of three errors to score three runs, and Kevin Pillar added a home run in a win over San Diego that completed a two-game sweep.
In Other Games
Diamondbacks 2, Phillies 0
Tigers 3, Royals 2
Red Sox 4, Rangers 3
Blue Jays 8, Orioles 6
Cubs 10, Rockies 1
Reds 7, Indians 2
Athletics 6, Rays 2
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5