HOUSTON — He finally got to bounce.
Houston Astros reliever Wesley Wright took to Twitter earlier this week, lamenting that he hadn’t gotten to “bounce” at the end of a walkoff victory.
Wright got his chance Friday. He ran in from the bullpen to join a mob of bodies bouncing up and down as they surrounded Brian Bogusevic after his single in the ninth inning gave Houston a 4-3 victory over Milwaukee.
“It’s a good feeling,” Bogusevic said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had some good things happen for us. We’ve played a lot of close games that we haven’t come out with some wins. To play a good game and then pull out the win, it felt good.”
No one was happier to see Brewers starter Mark Rogers leave the game than the Houston bats. Once again, the Astros offense came alive against Milwaukee’s bullpen. Bogusevic provided the final blow, driving in Steve Pearce from third with a single up the middle with one out in the before a crowd of 21,025.
But, equally important in the comeback in the ninth were Brett Wallace and newly acquired infielder Tyler Greene. Wallace drew his second walk of the game to lead off the inning against Brewers closer John Axford.
Greene was then sent in to pinch run for Wallace and immediately stole his first base as an Astro. Greene has been successful on 25 of 27 stolen base attempts in his major league career prior to that, and had a minor league stolen base success rate of 86.7 percent.
Of course, the steal wasn’t that easy, as he broke just as Axford unleashed a slider in the dirt that kicked away from catcher Jonathan Lucroy and rolled all the way to the Houston dugout. Greene popped up to his slide and saw the frantic motioning from both his own dugout and the man in the batter’s box Steve Pearce.
Greene was able to take third before the Brewers could track down the ball, scoring on Pearce’s bouncing single up the middle that just snuck past a drawn in second baseman Rickie Weeks and shortstop Jean Segura.
“That was a long time coming right there,” Houston manager Brad Mills said. “I’m so proud and happy of those guys and the way they went about everything. The guys in the ninth inning there, with the at-bats they gave, it was great to see. It was good for them to get something for it. The coaches have been doing a good job working with the guys and keeping them upbeat. The guys were just thrilled to death. You could see it building, and that hit finally coming, it’s nice to see.”
Rogers (0-2) was brilliant early, not allowing a ball to leave the infield until the fifth. That’s when he lost his no-hitter and his shutout in the span of four batters. Scott Moore broke things up, bunting for a base hit up the third base line with one out in the inning.
Bogusevic put to rest any misgivings about breaking up a no-hitter with a bunt, lining a single up the middle to put men on first and second. That’s when Carlos Corporan came up with the first of his two RBIs in the game, drilling a pitch up the middle, just out of reach of Brewers’ second baseman Rickie Weeks. Corporan added a solo home run to lead off the eighth, making it 3-2 Houston.
Rogers went seven innings while allowing three hits, one run with two walks while striking out eight.
Astros starter Bud Norris (6-9) matched Rogers for the most part, allowing a run in the first, second and seventh innings, but striking out seven in seven innings of work. He also didn’t walk a batter for the first time since June 6 against St. Louis.
“A win’s a win,” Norris said. “I’m going out there to keep it close and these guys battled back. I’m going out there to keep it close and these guys went out there and scored one in the eighth and two in the ninth. That’s a nice way to win a ballgame.
“I’ve felt a lot better (lately). I’ve been dealing with that leg thing for a while and that screwed up my mechanics. I made the adjustments. Unfortunately, I had a couple starts in there that weren’t so pretty, but I didn’t let it affect me and I’m going to keep going out there, grinding, pitching late in the game and keeping it close.”
NOTES: Fernando Martinez was called up before the game to take the place of J.D. Martinez, who was demoted following Thursday’s loss to Washington, along with infielder Matt Downs. Recently acquired infielder Tyler Greene was available for Friday’s game, and pinch-ran for Brett Wallace in the ninth. Greene was traded from St. Louis to Houston for cash considerations on Thursday. … On April 24, Norris tied a major league record by striking out four batters in an inning. He came close to repeating the feat in the first, striking out the side, but allowing Morgan to score on the dropped third strike. The inning’s other out was a flyout to right field by Aramis Ramirez.