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Galarraga shoots for a win at Wrigley

Venezuelan right-hander Armando Galarraga makes his fourth attempt at a first victory in a Houston uniform tonight when the Astros begin a three-game series with the host Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Best known for a near-perfect game during his days with the Detroit Tigers, Galarraga has won just three major-league games since last pitching for the Tigers in 2010.

All three of those wins came with the Arizona Diamondbacks across eight starts last season, before he was granted free agency, signed and released by the Baltimore Orioles and signed again by Astros on May 21.

His initial three outings with the Astros have yielded a pair of losses and a 4.70 earned run average in 15 1/3 innings - more than a run better than the 5.91 mark he posted with the Diamondbacks.

In his last outing, on Aug. 8, Galarraga gave up three runs on six hits in five innings of a 4-3 loss to the Washington Nationals.

He's 2-1 in three career meetings with the Cubs.

Chicago counters with righty Jeff Samardzija, who seeks a first win since July 23.

The former Notre Dame football player was 7-8 on the season after tossing eight one-hit innings in a 2-0 win at Pittsburgh, but has since dropped two decisions in three starts to fall to 19-19 in his big-league career.

In the three winless appearances, the 27-year-old has surrendered 15 hits and eight runs in 18 1/3 innings while actually trimming his ERA from 4.25 to 4.21.

He's 2-2 in 16 career meetings with the Astros.

On Sunday in Houston, Yovani Gallardo pitched into the eighth inning, Corey Hart homered and scored twice and the Milwaukee Brewers avoided a three-game sweep with a 5-3 victory over the Astros.

Jordan Lyles (2-9), currently the youngest starting pitcher in the major leagues, allowed four runs - two earned - with five strikeouts and no walks over seven innings in the loss.

The 21-year-old has dropped five straight decisions.

"He threw the ball really well," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "He's so young but we're seeing him progress right before our eyes and it's great to see."

Marwin Gonzalez with 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI for the Astros, who were looking to secure their first series sweep since taking three games from the Cubs in late May.

In Chicago, Johnny Cueto tossed eight scoreless innings and the Cincinnati Reds blanked the Cubs, 3-0, in the finale of a four- game series.

Cubs rookie starter Brooks Raley (0-2), who made just his second major league start, was perfect through four but was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs on five hits and a walk over six innings.

David DeJesus and Darwin Barney had hits in the loss for the Cubs, who have lost 11 of their last 12.

"We're right back in the same rut we were in the beginning of the first couple months where we just can't get anything going," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

Both of the previous series between the teams in 2012 have ended in sweeps. The Astros won three straight games in Houston from May 21-23, while the Cubs did the same at Wrigley Field from June 29-July 1.

Chicago won last year's series, 8-7.