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HOU@MIL: Quintero's double puts Astros up in extras

MILWAUKEE -- The Astros nearly turned a wild triple play Saturday night moments after their first baseman tumbled over their pitcher in the middle of the diamond, and that was only the beginning of the late-game madness.

In a game that featured a flurry of tension-filled, bizarre, improbable and even humorous moments in the final few innings, the Astros were able to outlast the Brewers and snapped a two-game losing streak with a 9-6 victory in 10 innings at Miller Park.

"That was quite a game, there's no doubt about that," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "There were a lot of great efforts."

The list of heroes for the Astros stretched from one corner of the clubhouse to the other. Ultimately, the biggest play of the night belonged to Humberto Quintero, who doubled to center field with two outs in the 10th to score a pair of runs and break a 6-6 tie.

"That was a tough game," Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said.

Astros closer Brandon Lyon, who blew his second save of the season in the ninth inning, batted for himself in the 10th and ripped a double to left to score Quintero, who had just taken third base for his first career stolen base. Lyon recovered from throwing 32 pitches in the ninth to send the Brewers down in order in the 10th for his first win of the season.

"Obviously, it's not the way you draw it up," said Lyon, who got his first career hit. "You want to get out of that in the ninth [without giving up a run], and unfortunately it didn't happen. We're just fortunate to give ourselves a chance to score some runs in the 10th inning."

In the first two games of the series, the teams combined for 36 runs, 60 hits and played 7 hours, 34 minutes of baseball that was a wild mix of entertainment and frustration for both sides. But nothing was more eventful than the bottom of the eighth inning.

With the Astros holding a tenuous 6-5 lead with a runner at first and no outs, Lucroy bunted to Astros first baseman Brett Wallace, who fielded the ball and began to throw to second before falling over relief pitcher Mark Melancon. Wallace then threw the ball past first base for an error to put runners on the corners.

"It's definitely not something we're not familiar with, but in the heat of the moment I guess there was some miscommunication," Wallace said.

Things got even crazier on the next play, when Erick Almonte nearly hit into what would have been the Astros' second triple play in the last 20 years.

Almonte grounded to third baseman Chris Johnson, who got Yuniesky Betancourt trapped between third and home. The Astros tagged him out and then had Lucroy caught between second and third and tagged him out. Almonte strayed off first base and was nearly thrown out by Quintero for what would have been a triple play.

"That was just a crazy play," Wallace said. "It helped us out big. C.J. started it of the right way, fielded it and made sure he got the out. It was a big situation for us to get the one at the plate to cut the run down, and once we got the second it turned into a pretty crazy play. It was fun to be a part of it."

Melancon didn't touch the ball, but he ran all over the infield.

"If we could've got that last out there on that one play it would have been pretty neat," he said. "The guys were laughing at me because I looked like I was running in a fire drill out there, directing traffic. It just happened so fast it was pretty funny."

Craig Counsell grounded out to end the inning, with the crowd erupting in boos.

"That eighth inning almost looked like a bomb went off someplace in the infield in the top half and the bottom half," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "There were bodies laying everywhere. The guys did a good job of working through those things."

In the ninth, Lyon gave up a one-out single to Ryan Braun, who scored all the way from first to tie the game on Prince Fielder's double to right field. Braun slid home under Quintero, whose tag was a hair late. Quintero protested the call, prompting Mills to come onto the field to calm him down.

"The last thing we wanted was to lose him in that type of situation," Mills said "It was very emotional, but he was able to come back and tighten the screws and get going."

Quintero composed himself quite nicely in the 10th with his two-run double that scored Wallace, who doubled, and Bill Hall, who had walked.

"The last at-bat I got, it was 3-1 with nobody on first base, and he's going to throw a breaking ball for a ball, but he hung it and I tried to hit it to the middle," Quintero said.

Astros starter Brett Myers pitched at least six innings for the 37th time in his 38 starts with the team, allowing 10 hits and five runs in 6 1/3 innings. He had a quality start going until he allowed a two-run homer to Braun in the seventh that got the Brewers to within a run, 6-5.

"I felt pretty good today with location of my fastball," Myers said. "I threw a lot of fastballs and I felt really good with command today. Even the pitch to Braun wasn't a bad pitch. I threw so many to him the whole game he finally got a hold of one. That's part of the game, but I tried to go out there and give us the best chance to win that I can. But I definitely don't think I should have given up five runs today with how good I felt."

The Astros built a 4-1 lead in the third against Brewers starter Shaun Marcum. Carlos Lee hit a two-run homer in Houston's three-run first inning, and Hunter Pence walloped a solo homer in the third. The Astros never trailed, but they still had to overcome plenty to pull out a tough win.

"It's definitely a crazy game, but one we really wanted, so it was cool that we were able to come back and guys stuck together and picked up each other," Wallace said. "That's what we need to keep doing, trying to feed off each other." Comments