Right-hander Mike Fiers makes his fourth attempt at a 10th victory Sunday when the Milwaukee Brewers close out a three-game series with the visiting Houston Astros at Miller Park.
The 27-year-old, a native of Hollywood, Fla., got to 9-7 on the season with a 6-3 defeat of the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 8 in St. Louis, but has since gone 0-2 in three appearances while watching his earned run average swell from 3.05 to 3.55.
He was beaten, 4-2, by the Cincinnati Reds in his most recent mound outing, allowing nine hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings while walking two batters and striking out eight.
The product of Nova Southeastern University has made one career start against the Astros and emerged a 13-4 winner aftr allowing two runs on eight hits in six innings in Milwaukee on Aug. 1.
The Brewers are 11-11 in the games he's pitched in 2012.
He's opposed by 21-year-old righty Jordan Lyles, who faces the Brewers for the sixth time in his 45th big-league appearance.
The last two meetings came in August - first against Fiers in the aforementioned Aug. 1 game in Milwaukee and ended for Lyles after five innings in which he allowed nine runs on nine hits.
He started against Milwaukee against on Aug. 12 and dropped a 5-3 verdict after this time allowing two earned runs on eight hits in seven innings.
Houston is 3-7 in his last 10 starts and 5-19 in games he's pitched in 2012.
On Saturday, Marco Estrada tossed eight scoreless innings, Corey Hart homered twice and the Brewers kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 9-5 win.
Milwaukee's win, coupled with the St. Louis Cardinals' extra-inning loss to the Washington Nationals, has the Brewers four games off the pace for the National League's final wild card spot. Both teams have four games remaining.
Estrada (5-7) struck out 11, issued just one walk and scattered four hits to earn the victory. Livan Hernandez allowed three ninth-inning homers before Jose Veras recorded the game's final out.
Aramis Ramirez and Norichika Aoki both had three hits, two RBI and two runs scored for the Brewers, who dropped a 7-6 decision to the Astros in Friday's series opener.
Dallas Keuchel (3-8) allowed seven runs on eight hits over just 2 1/3 innings to take the loss on Saturday. The rookie left-hander walked one and struck out two.
"It's kind of disappointing to end my year on this note, but it's my own fault," said Keuchel.
Fernando Martinez and Brian Bogusevic both belted two-run homers for Houston in the ninth and Tyler Greene added a solo blast.
The Brewers won eight of the initial 14 games between the teams in 2012, though Houston won two of three in a home series from Aug. 10-12.