Originally created 04/29/00

Astros blank Brewers



MILWAUKEE -- Chris Holt pitched a one-hitter, allowing only a second-inning single to Ron Belliard, for his first career complete game as the Houston Astros beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-0 Friday night.

Holt did not allow a runner to reach second base in his first shutout. Belliard's hit was clean to center field.

Holt (1-3) got his first victory of the year with a dominant performance against the slumping Brewers. He struck out three and walked two.

Richard Hidalgo homered and doubled as the Astros became the latest team to pound Jaime Navarro (0-5). He gave up three homers, six hits and three walks in 2 1-3 dismal innings.

Navarro, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the White Sox and will make a team-high $5 million this year, was relentlessly booed by the County Stadium crowd -- even drawing loud boos as he took the mound before the game began.

The discontent increased when Jeff Bagwell, the game's third hitter, pounded a belt-high fastball off the right-field pole for his eighth homer of the season.

After Ken Caminiti flied out to end the first inning, Daryle Ward and Hidalgo hit consecutive homers to lead off the second. It was the second time this season the Astros have hit back-to-back home runs, and each shot only increased the volume of booing.

Navarro and three subsequent relievers allowed 11 walks, two shy of Milwaukee's club record.

Houston began a 10-game road trip, its longest of the season, on a positive note. The Astros dropped to last place in the NL Central by losing nine of their first 12 games at new Enron Field, including two straight to the Chicago Cubs to close the homestand.

But the Astros looked sharp against the Brewers, hitting the ball well and turning three difficult double plays to kill Milwaukee's only attempts at rallies.

The Brewers, who played 16 of their first 22 games on the road, opened a 10-game homestand with the first of four against Houston. Milwaukee, which just finished a 2-7 road trip, lost for the ninth time in 11 games.

In the third, Hidalgo dropped a bloop double into shallow right and Jeromy Burnitz fell down while chasing it, allowing Bagwell to score from second.

After Mitch Meluskey was intentionally walked to load the bases, Navarro walked light-hitting shortstop Tim Bogar to put the Astros up 6-0. Pitching coach Bob Apodaca finally removed Navarro in favor of Valerio De Los Santos, and the boos rained down.

Notes: Miller Park continues to near completion just beyond the outfield bleachers. Fans can now see the first half of the stadium's massive name sign, and new roof beams have been lifted into place. ... Caminiti hit into two double plays. ... Milwaukee's Steve Woodard will make his regularly scheduled Monday start. Milwaukee was worried about him after he hurt his right wrist while swinging at a pitch in a loss at St. Louis on Wednesday. ... In other Brewers rehab news, catcher Henry Blanco will play two games with Triple-A Indianapolis on Sunday and Monday before returning to the Brewers. Blanco sustained a deep cut on one of his fingers two weeks ago.