HOUSTON (AP) — The luck of the throwback jerseys finally ran out for the Houston Astros.
After back-to-back wins donning uniforms that paid homage to better days in the 1990s, it was back to the ugly present for the Astros, whose sloppy defense and continued lack of clutch hitting on Sunday sunk them in a 5-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Right-hander Jordan Lyles (2-9) picked up his fifth loss in seven starts despite another solid outing to remain winless since June 26 at San Diego.
"I though Jordan threw the ball real well," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "He's put some starts back-to-back-to-back that have been real good. We're seeing that improvement."
Marwin Gonzalez drove in two runs and scored another, but his fielding error in the fifth inning proved costly for the Astros, who lost for the 35th time in 41 games.
Tyler Greene, who was recently acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals, finished 2 for 5 with a double, and Chris Snyder had two hits and scored a run for Houston, at 38-78 the worst team in baseball.
The Astros had the tying run at second base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth after a throwing error to first and wild pitch by Kameron Loe, but the Milwaukee reliever got Gonzalez to ground out on a full count to end the game.
Whatever magic the uniforms had brought was gone.
The Astros first used their 1994-99 uniforms for Friday's series opener against Milwaukee as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the franchise.
A 4-3, last at-bat win to halt a five-game skid prompted the team — at the players' request — to don the uniforms Saturday, and, after another last at-bat win, this one 6-5 in 10 innings, again on Sunday.
The Astros won three divisional titles (1997-1999) and posted winning records in five of the six seasons wearing the blue-and-gold star uniforms beginning in 1995.
Still, the Astros embarked on a three-game road trip against the Cubs having claimed their first series since winning two of three against San Diego June 26-28.
"This is a positive change, winning two of three," Gonzalez said. "We hope it's an awakening for the team and that we continue to see positive results."
Corey Hart hit a solo home run in the sixth inning, and Yovani Gallardo beat the Astros for the 10th straight time as the Brewers broke an 11-game road skid.
Milwaukee won on the road for the first time since July 8 at Houston in its last game before the All-Star break. The Brewers had been swept at the Reds, Phillies and Cardinals since then.
Lyles allowed eight hits and four runs — two earned — in seven innings for his fifth straight loss.
"I know his record is not the best in the world," Mills said. "That's not indicative of the progress he's made and how he's throwing the ball. That's a shame.
Lyles was not stressing about his record and seemed encouraged by his latest outing.
"I just go out there every five days and try to get my team a chance to win," Lyles said. "If I get the win or someone in the bullpen gets the win, that's fine with me. The last couple of starts have been better than the res ... we're headed in the right direction."
Gallardo (11-8) held the Astros to three runs while striking out eight in 7 2-3 innings for the win, which tied the most for a pitcher against a team since Roy Halladay beat Montreal/Washington 10 straight times from 2004-11, according to information provided to the Brewers by the Elias Sports Bureau.
He allowed the Astros an early lead but quickly fell into a rhythm, and the Brewers' bats took care of the rest.
Back-to-back doubles by Green and Gonzalez in the first inning gave the Astros a 1-0 lead that would not last long.
Carlos Gomez, Jean Segura and Gallardo each singled off Lyles with two outs to tie it at 1 in the second.
The Brewers got Lyles again in the fifth. Segura singled to start the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Gallardo.
Norichika Aoki reached on a throwing error by Gonzalez at shortstop and stole second, and Segura beat the throw home on a grounder by Rickie Weeks for a 2-1 lead. Ryan Braun added an RBI grounder.
"I know (Gonzalez) feels terrible, but we've talked many times about giving teams extra outs," Mills said. "That's exactly what we did that inning, and that's what hurt us."
Martin Maldonado's RBI double off reliever Mickey Storey in the eighth inning put Milwaukee up 5-2.
Scott Moore's run-scoring single with two outs in the eighth inning chased Gallardo and put the Astros within two.
NOTES: Houston C Jason Castro, on the disabled list with a right knee injury, went 3 for 3 and played nine innings behind the plate in a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday night and will be activated on Monday. The Astros optioned C Carlos Corporan after the game to make room for Castro on the roster. ... Milwaukee RHP Shaun Marcum, on the 60-day DL with tightness in his right elbow, is scheduled to make his second rehabilitation start on Wednesday for Class-A Wisconsin. ... Armando Galarraga opposes Chicago's Jeff Samardzija when the Astros open a three-game series with the Cubs on Monday. ... Milwaukee's Mike Fiers takes on Colorado LHP Jeff Francis as the Brewers travel to take on the Rockies.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.