Final
  for this game

Brewers-Astros Preview

Aug 6, 2009 - 8:49 PM By MATT BEARDMORE STATS Writer

Milwaukee (54-54) at Houston (53-55), 8:05 p.m. EDT

The Milwaukee Brewers are coming off their first series victory in more than a month. Now they'll be looking to win their fourth straight series at Minute Maid Park as they open a three-game set against the struggling Houston Astros on Friday night.

With a 4-1 victory over Los Angeles on Wednesday, Milwaukee (54-54) earned its first series win since taking two of three from the New York Mets from June 29-July 1.

"It feels like six months (since we won a series)," manager Ken Macha said. "To win two out of three in L.A. against the team with the best record in the league should be a confidence booster for us."

Milwaukee hasn't won a series away from Miller Park since sweeping Cleveland from June 15-17.

The Brewers make their third trip of the year to Houston after taking two of three there from April 24-26 and May 19-21. Milwaukee is 6-2 at Minute Maid Park since dropping five in a row there from Sept. 19, 2007-June 10, 2008.

The third-place Brewers lead the Astros by one game in the tightly bunched NL Central.

"We're getting to a position where we need to win as many games, as many series, as possible," left fielder Ryan Braun told the team's official Web site. "We can't fall too many more games back with two teams (Chicago and St. Louis) ahead of us. Every series from here out is kind of a must-win for us."

With Milwaukee awaiting the return of starters Dave Bush (triceps injury) and Jeff Suppan (strained left oblique), Macha will hand the ball to right-hander Carlos Villanueva (2-8, 5.98 ERA) on Friday.

Making his second start of the season after 43 relief appearances, Villanueva did not receive a decision in a 6-1 win at San Diego on Sunday. He allowed two hits and walked four in five scoreless innings.

"I got myself in trouble with the walks, but I was able to make pitches when I had to," he said.

Villanueva makes his third start against Houston and first since May 2, 2008. He has pitched 3 2-3 innings of scoreless relief in three appearances versus the Astros in 2009.

Houston (53-55), loser of four of five at home, counters with rookie Bud Norris (1-0, 0.90), who will make his Minute Maid Park debut.

In his first major league start and second game, Norris yielded two hits in seven innings to win 2-0 at St. Louis on Sunday.

"We needed a win in the worst way," manager Cecil Cooper said after the Astros snapped a four-game slide. "We needed a big game and Norris gave us one."

Houston starters have gone 2-6 with a 6.98 ERA as the team has dropped nine of 12.

Astros first baseman Lance Berkman is eligible to come off the disabled list (strained left calf) Friday but is not expected to play in the series.

Houston center fielder Michael Bourn is day to day with a strained left groin.






  • 5
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Brewers 3, Astros 6  FinalAug 8 5:12 AM


  • ** CONFIRMED **
    NL
    MILWAUKEE 3
    HOUSTON 6 FINAL

    Aug 7 10:49 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN BRAUN SCORED FELIPE LOPEZ
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R BRAUN ON FIRST, C COUNSELL ON SECOND, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 3
    HOUSTON 6 TOP,7TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: P FIELDER (.300, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Brewers 3, Astros 6  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 7 10:05 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY JASON MICHAELS (3) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF MARK DIFELICE SCORED DARIN ERSTAD AND CARLOS
    LEE.
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2, HOUSTON 6
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: B NORRIS (.250, 0-FOR-2)

    Brewers 2, Astros 6  Bot 6, 0 OutsAug 7 9:53 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MIGUEL TEJADA (10) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 5TH OFF CARLOS VILLANUEVA.
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2, HOUSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.291, 0-FOR-2)

    Brewers 2, Astros 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 7 9:27 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JASON MICHAELS (2) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 5TH OFF CARLOS VILLANUEVA.
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2, HOUSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: B NORRIS (.333, 0-FOR-1)

    Brewers 2, Astros 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 7 9:23 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JASON KENDALL (1) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 5TH OFF BUD NORRIS SCORED J.J. HARDY.
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2, HOUSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: C VILLANUEVA (.200, 0-FOR-1)

    Brewers 2, Astros 1  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 7 9:16 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY DARIN ERSTAD SCORED IVAN RODRIGUEZ
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D ERSTAD ON SECOND, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 0
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM,2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: J MICHAELS (.196, 1 HR, 9 RBI)

    Brewers 0, Astros 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsAug 7 8:36 PM