MILWAUKEE (AP) Jimmy Nelson struck out nine in six-plus innings, and the Milwaukee Brewers took advantage of early wildness by Houston ace Dallas Keuchel in a 3-2 win over the Astros on Sunday.
The AL Cy Young Award winner walked four in the first inning and gave up a two-run single to Aaron Hill. Keuchel (1-1) left with two outs in the sixth with a career high-tying six walks, including an intentional pass to Ryan Braun in the fourth.
Domingo Santana added an RBI double in the fourth for rebuilding Milwaukee, which took two of three in the interleague series against the AL West contenders.
Nelson (1-1) settled down after Jose Altuve's leadoff homer to deep left on the game's first pitch. Preston Tucker added a solo shot in the fifth for Houston.
Jeremy Jeffress pitched a perfect ninth for his third save. The hard-throwing right-hander got the last out when Tucker hit a hard liner right into Jeffress' glove.
Jeffress capped three shutout innings for Brewers relievers after Nelson departed following a leadoff walk in the seventh to Colby Rasmus.
The Astros had a couple late chances to bail out Keuchel.
Trailing by a run, Houston had runners on second and third with one out in the eighth after a throwing error by pitcher Michael Blazek. The reliever got George Springer to fly out to short center and Carlos Correa to bounce out to shortstop to escape the jam.
Tyler Thornburg struck out the last two hitters in the seventh after Rasmus moved to second on a wild pitch.
Keuchel's control has been an early problem for Houston. The left-hander has been uncharacteristically wild to start the season, having walked four in seven innings during his season-opening, 5-3 victory last week against the Yankees.
Keuchel struck out eight and allowed six hits and three runs.
Astros: Manager A.J. Hinch received a one-word text on Sunday from injured DH Evan Gattis. ''Ready,'' Hinch said in relaying the message. Gattis, who is recovering from sports hernia surgery, is scheduled to play Monday at his rehab stint at Double-A Corpus Christi after the day off on Sunday. Team brass will discuss if Gattis will join the team for the home-opening series this week against Kansas City when the Astros return home.
Brewers: C Jonathan Lucroy got his first day off of the season, with Martin Maldonado getting the start behind the plate.
Astros: RHP Collin McHugh (0-1) starts Houston's home opener against the Kansas City Royals in a rematch of an AL division series last season. McHugh took the loss in the Royals' clinching Game 5, allowing three runs in four innings.
Brewers: RHP Taylor Jungmann (0-0) takes the hill in St. Louis for the Cardinals' home opener. It's the second straight season that the Brewers have been the opponent for home opener at Busch Stadium.
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