Brewers-Astros Preview

Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder continue to give the Houston

Astros plenty of problems this year. Brett Myers knows all about

what they can do.

Myers has lost his last five decisions as he gets ready to face

the Milwaukee Brewers for the second straight weekend and fourth

time in 2011 on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.

Milwaukee (63-50) cruised to its ninth win in 10 games, 8-1 on

Friday to open this three-game set. Braun went 3 for 4 and Fielder

added a double and a run as the Brewers built a 6-1 lead after

three innings, helping Yovani Gallardo earn his 13th victory.

The Brewers maintained their three-game NL Central lead over St.

Louis.

“We’re in a place where we’re playing the type of ball I know we

can play and we’re consistently doing it,” manager Ron Roenicke

said. “That’s what we’ve been trying to get to.”

Milwaukee is 7-3 against Houston (37-75) after sweeping three at

home last weekend. Fielder is 16 for 40 with three homers, eight

RBIs and 12 runs scored in the season series while Braun is 15 for

40 with three homers, nine RBIs and 10 runs.

They have both had success against Myers (3-11, 4.65 ERA) this

year, with Fielder going 6 for 8 with a homer – one of his four off

the right-hander – and Braun 3 for 10 with two homers.

Neither went deep Sunday as Myers allowed four runs over six

innings and did not get a decision in a 5-4 loss. He’s 0-5 with a

4.67 ERA over his last seven outings, and he’s 0-1 with a 5.89 ERA

in three 2011 starts against Milwaukee.

He’ll be opposed again by Chris Narveson (7-6, 4.39), who also

failed to receive a decision after yielding three runs over 6 2-3

innings Sunday. Narveson is 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA in six career

starts against the Astros, going 0-1 with a 4.97 ERA in two this

year.

Carlos Lee and Jason Bourgeois are each 2 for 6 with a homer

against the left-hander this year. The major league-worst Astros

are a respectable 16-17 against left-handed starters compared to

21-58 against right-handers.

Narveson is 1-4 with a 4.97 ERA in 11 road starts.

The Brewers finished with 11 hits Friday, giving them at least

10 in seven consecutive games. Casey McGehee had a two-run single

in the first inning, and he’s got seven RBIs in his last two

games.

One of Milwaukee’s hits was by Craig Counsell, whose pinch-hit

single in the ninth ended his 0-for-45 streak that was one shy of

the longest by a non-pitcher, set by Brooklyn’s Bill Bergen in

1909.

“It was almost like I’d been throwing a no-hitter and nobody

would talk to me about it,” Counsell said. “It’s a relief just to

do something right. It was just one hit but it meant something to

me.”

Lee had one of the Astros’ four hits Friday, but he’s 5 for 39

(.128) against the Brewers this year.