HOUSTON (AP) – Mike 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 night.
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.
Jesus Aguilar added a pinch-hit RBI single as Milwaukee won for the fifth time in six games despite striking out a season-high 24 times. 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.
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.
Each team had late chances to go in front.
Jake Marisnick singled off Houser with one out in the 13th. Marisnick stole second base, but Houser retired Josh Reddick and Alex Bregman to end the threat.
Pinch hitter Myles Straw walked leading off the Houston 10th, but was caught trying to steal second base. He was initially called safe, but the Brewers challenged the call and it was overturned. Josh Hader walked Tyler White, but Marisnick grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Singles by Yelich and Moustakas left runners at first and third with one out in the ninth. But Roberto Osuna struck out Grandal and Thames to escape the jam.
Verlander surrendered solo drives to Braun in the first and Grandal in the second before settling into a groove. He retired 17 of 18 after Grandal’s 15th homer, with Milwaukee’s only baserunner coming on a double by Thames to start the fifth.
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.
The Brewers led 2-0 before the Astros scored three times in the fourth. Robinson Chirinos singled in Yuli Gurriel before Tony Kemp doubled in two runs.
Verlander got the start on the 12th anniversary of his first career no-hitter, a 4-0 victory over Milwaukee. Brewers manager Craig Counsell led off in that one and finished 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
Brewers: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (lower back strain) will come off the injured list to start against San Diego on Monday.
Astros: 2B Jose Altuve (leg fatigue) and OF George Springer (hamstring) are both improving and manager AJ Hinch said they could both start rehabilitation assignments sometime this weekend. … C Max Stassi (knee soreness) is scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment on Thursday.
Brewers: Milwaukee is off Thursday before Zach Davies (7-0, 2.41 ERA) starts in the opener of a three-game series at San Francisco on Friday night. Davies allowed three runs in five innings in a 5-3 win over Pittsburgh in his last start.
Astros: Following an off day, Houston hosts Toronto in the first of three games on Friday night. Gerrit Cole (5-5, 3.72 ERA) is scheduled to start. Cole yielded three runs – one earned – and struck out a season-high 14 in seven innings but did not factor in the decision in a 4-3 win over the Orioles in his last start.