%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:XHT101-072202; AUDIO:%)

HOUSTON (AP) _ Wade Miller pitched seven strong innings to beat Milwaukee for the 10th time in 11 decisions, leading the Houston Astros to a 3-1 victory over the Brewers on Monday night.

Milwaukee lost its eighth straight game, its longest losing streak since an 11-gamer last July.

Miller (7-3) retired 14 of the first 16 hitters and didn't allow a baserunner to advance past first base until the sixth inning. He allowed one runs and six hits to improve his ERA to 2.63 lifetime against the Brewers.

Brad Ausmus homered for the Astros, and Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his 19th save in 23 chances.

Glendon Rusch (5-10) gave up three runs and 10 hits in six innings to take the loss. He struck out seven and walked two.

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the third when Rusch issued a bases-loaded walk to Jose Vizcaino with two outs.

A single by Craig Biggio, a walk to Jeff Bagwell and an infield single by Richard Hidalgo loaded the bases for Vizcaino.

The Astros increased their lead to 2-0 in the fourth, when Ausmus led off with his fourth home run of the season.

Houston moved ahead 3-0 in the fifth after Lance Berkman led off with a double and scored on Bagwell's single.

Milwaukee cut its deficit to 3-1 in the sixth when Paul Bako walked, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on Eric Young's double.

Notes: Houston's Octavio Dotel leads the major leagues in strikeouts by a reliever with 81 ... Hidalgo was in a 1-for-17 skid before singling in the third inning. ... Milwaukee is 15-35 on the road.