for this game

Brewers send Marcum to hill in Houston

May 17, 2012 - 2:52 PM (Sports Network) - Shaun Marcum gave his tired club a lift in his last start. He'll look to give the Milwaukee Brewers another jolt this evening in the second of two straight contests against the Houston Astros.

Marcum took the hill for the Brewers last Saturday following a 13-inning, five-hour marathon with the Cubs the previous night and halted a five-game winless streak (0-1). The right-hander logged his first victory since April 9 by holding Chicago to a run on three hits and two walks over seven frames, striking out six.

"After last night, everyone was a little sluggish," said Marcum of Friday's marathon -- which Milwaukee won -- that went just past midnight. The team's were back at it again nearly 12 hours later. "I was sent home early last night so I got my rest."

Marcum improved to 2-1 with a 3.07 earned run average in seven starts this season and holds a lifetime mark of 2-0 with a 2.52 ERA in four outings versus the Astros. However, that includes a no-decision for the 30-year-old on April 25 against Houston as he gave up four runs -- three earned -- on eight hits and four walks over five frames.

J.A. Happ took the hill for the Astros on that day and will oppose Marcum again tonight. The lefty also posted a no-decision, getting charged with four runs over five innings. Happ yielded homers to Ryan Braun and Travis Ishikawa, but also struck out eight.

In seven career games versus Milwaukee, including six starts, Happ is 2-2 with a 6.25 ERA.

The 29-year-old is coming off his second straight loss on Saturday in Pittsburgh. He was touched for five earned runs for a second consecutive outing as well as six hits, two homers and a walk in five-plus innings of work. Happ fell to 2-3 with a 5.72 ERA through seven starts.

Houston snapped a four-game losing streak with last night's 8-3 win, getting seven innings of one-run ball from Bud Norris. He also struck out nine.

"I'm trying to pitch as deep into the ballgame as I can," Norris said. "Pitch count for me isn't really a big factor. It depends on the feel inning after inning. I felt fine and felt like I got stronger as the game went on."

Carlos Lee went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and three runs batted in, while Jed Lowrie, Justin Maxwell, Jordan Schafer and J.D. Martinez all had an RBI in the victory.

Randy Wolf allowed seven runs -- six earned -- on seven hits and three walks in four innings to take the loss.

"They're not a bad hitting team, they have a lot of good young players," Wolf said. "There's no excuse for me to not execute my pitches."

Corey Hart cracked a solo home run and Jonathan Lucroy ripped a pinch-hit two- run triple for the Brewers, who have dropped three of their last four.

The Brewers had won 11 straight versus the Astros dating back to last season before Houston won the finale of a three-game series at Milwaukee on April 25.