It comes as no surprise that Zack Greinke's only rough outing so far this season came on the road. After all, he has been lights out at Miller Park since joining the Brewers.
Greinke looks to stay undefeated in Milwaukee's ballpark this evening in the opener of a three-game series against the Houston Astros, who are coming off their best offensive showing of the season.
Since joining the Brewers in a trade with Kansas City prior to last season, Greinke has yet to lose at Miller Park. He is 12-0 with a 2.89 earned run average there as a member of Milwaukee's rotation, the longest home winning streak by a Brewers pitcher ever. Not only that, but the Brewers are 17-0 in all 17 of his home starts with the club.
The 28-year-old righty won his season debut at home with seven scoreless innings, but was then hammered for eight runs over 3 2/3 innings in a loss at the Chicago Cubs on April 12. Greinke bounced back on Wednesday, yielding just two runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over seven innings of a no-decision against the Dodgers, with the Brewers picked up a 3-2 win.
Greinke has won all three of his career starts against the Astros with a 1.71 ERA and will try to stifle an offense that has broken out in two of its past four games.
Houston snapped a four-game slide with an 11-4 win over Washington on Thursday, but was then held to just two runs while losing the first two of a three-game series against Los Angeles. The Astros avoided a sweep in a big way on Sunday, notching 12 hits in a 12-0 victory.
Carlos Lee opened the scoring with a two-run homer and Jordan Schafer cracked a grand slam. He has reached base in all 16 games this season, the longest streak for an Astro since Craig Biggio's 17-game run in 2000.
"I think [Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley] left some balls up and they helped us out a little bit in the field," Schafer said. "I know for awhile there we didn't have a bunch of hits, we had like four hits and nine runs there for awhile."
Seven Houston players logged an RBI, which was more than enough for Wandy Rodriguez, who gave up three hits over seven scoreless innings.
Lucas Harrell draws his fourth start of the season and ninth of his career this evening for the Astros and is looking for his first win since his season debut on April 7, when he notched seven scoreless innings versus the Rockies.
The right-hander hasn't factored into the decision of back-to-back starts and faced the Nationals on Wednesday. He gave up a run on four hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings of a game his team eventually lost 3-2.
Harrell, 26, did make a start versus the Brewers last season and did so in his Houston debut on Sept. 2 after beginning his career with the White Sox. He did not get a decision despite 5 1/3 scoreless innings of three-hit ball.
Harrell will try to deal Milwaukee its fourth loss in five games tonight after the Brewers suffered a 4-1 defeat against visiting Colorado in Sunday's rubber match of a three-game series. Mat Gamel drove in the only run for the losing team and Francisco Rodriguez was tagged with the loss in relief.
"We had the opportunities, we got the guys coming up in our lineup that can drive runs in," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "It's always tough when you don't have many opportunities and you have that one shot at it and you don't do it."
Milwaukee has won nine in a row over Houston, as well as four straight and eight of the past nine encounters at Miller Park.