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Houston at Milwaukee

Venue: Miller Park
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There are still two months left in the season, but the Milwaukee Brewers aren't giving any indication that they're going to make a move up the standings.

The Houston Astros' recent bevy of moves show they're certainly looking toward 2013.

Milwaukee will try to avoid a 10th loss in 11 games Monday night at Miller Park while the major league-worst Astros look to win two straight for the first time in more than a month.

The Brewers (45-56) were eight games out in the NL Central and six back of the second wild card at the All-Star break, but those deficits have since doubled. Another bullpen meltdown in Sunday's 11-10, 11-inning loss to Washington left the club a season-worst 11 games below .500.

"We battled to the end, we just didn't pitch well out of the bullpen again," manager Ron Roenicke said after his relievers yielded nine runs - eight in the last four innings - and blew a major league-leading 20th save.

While the slumping Brewers could be in sell mode with Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline approaching, the Astros (35-68) have been dealing for the past few weeks. After completing their fifth trade of the month earlier Sunday, sending third baseman Chris Johnson to Arizona for two prospects, the Astros defeated Pittsburgh 9-5 to end a team-record 12-game skid

"To go through a homestand like this (1-6), that's a big breath of fresh air to be able to (win) and to take it out on the road with us," manager Brad Mills told the Astros' official website.

Houston, though, hasn't won two straight since June 26-27, and the club is a major league-worst 10-41 on the road.

The Astros return to Milwaukee for the first time since ending a six-game road losing streak to the Brewers - and an 11-game overall skid in this matchup - with a 7-5 victory April 25.

Picking up another win at Miller Park could be a challenge as Houston opens a six-game trip with Bud Norris (5-8, 5.05 ERA) going for his first win since May 21.

The right-hander is 0-7 with a 7.43 ERA in nine starts since that victory, but he pitched seven innings of one-run ball in Wednesday's 5-3 loss to the Reds.

Norris, though, has a 9.53 ERA while losing his last six road starts. He's faced the Brewers twice this season, including a 5 2-3-inning outing April 24 when he was tagged for seven runs and nine hits in a 9-6 road loss.

Milwaukee will counter with Marco Estrada (0-4, 4.52), who hasn't won since Aug. 23.

This will be the right-hander's first start against Houston following six relief appearances. Estrada pitched three hitless frames in a 5-3, 10-inning road win over the Astros on July 8.

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez could return to the Brewers' lineup Monday after a sore left wrist limited him to pinch-hitting duties Sunday. Ramirez, who is batting .419 (18 for 43) with two homers and eight RBIs since July 17, is 5 for 14 with two homers and two doubles off Norris.

Ryan Braun and Corey Hart have also taken Norris deep twice, with Hart's two homers coming in 2012.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Weather
weather image  Scattered tstorms late. Partly sunny. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
84°F69°F9mph/SW72%56%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Houston5th AL West510.33353-7 L 3
Milwaukee1st NL Central114.733-8-2 W 1
Probable Starters

Bud Norris, RHP
2012 stats
103.1 Innings Pitched 67.2
5-8 Wins-Losses 0-4
5.05 Earned Run Average 4.52
44 Walks 14
108 Strikeouts 75
98 Pitches Per Start 87
Career vs. opponent
54.0 Innings Pitched 7.2
4-3 Wins-Losses 0-0
4.50 Earned Run Average 3.52

Marco Estrada, RHP
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Marco Estrada
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Altuve21000.500
Francisco21000.500
Bogusevic21000.500
Martinez31000.333
Cordero000000
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Bud Norris
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Hernandez110001.000
Parra21001.500
Hart125223.417
Morgan114011.364
Ramirez145214.357
 

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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Houston 165 Milwaukee -175
Injuries
Houston
PlayerInjury
J. CrainBiceps, calf
A. WhiteElbow
A. WojciechowskiBack
Milwaukee
PlayerInjury
T. GorzelannyShoulder
B. KintzlerTrapezius
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 11MILMIL 4-2Peralta Liriano 
Apr 12MILMIL 3-2Henderson Melancon 
Apr 13MILMIL 4-1Lohse Morton 
Apr 17PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Apr 18PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Apr 19PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Apr 20PIT 1:35 PM EDT  
May 13MIL 8:10 PM EDT  
May 14MIL 8:10 PM EDT  
May 15MIL 1:10 PM EDT  
Jun 6PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Jun 7PIT 4:05 PM EDT  
Jun 8PIT 1:35 PM EDT  
Aug 22MIL 8:10 PM EDT  
Aug 23MIL 7:10 PM EDT  
Aug 24MIL 2:10 PM EDT  
Sep 19PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 20PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 21PIT 1:35 PM EDT