Brewers shoot for another defeat of lowly Astros

The Milwaukee Brewers try to make it two straight wins this game series with the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

On Friday, the Brewers exploded for eight runs in the final three innings to beat the Astros, 8-2.

Milwaukee was coming off a disastrous series against St. Louis, in which it was swept in three games and outscored by an 18-8 margin. But the NL Central- leading Brewers rebounded with Friday's win, and extended their advantage over the second-place Cardinals to 8 1/2 games.

Ryan Braun hit a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh, Casey McGehee slugged a two-run homer in the eighth and Prince Fielder added a two-run shot in the ninth.

"Prince looked really good today at the plate," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said of Fielder, who finished 4-for-4. "His rhythm was great, his swings were great. Even the balls he was fouling back. And he's also seeing the ball really well."

Lucas Harrell was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to make his first start with the Astros, who claimed him off waivers from the White Sox in July. The right-hander pitched 5 1/3 shutout innings, allowing three hits and two walks, to put Houston in position to win.

"I feel like I got in a groove a little bit later on," Harrell said. "You're always a little bit nervous, a little excited. I feel like after I got through a few innings it went a little bit better."

But the Astros' bullpen failed -- Aneury Rodriguez (1-6) was responsible for three runs in the seventh, David Carpenter allowed McGehee's homer and Jordan Lyles gave up three runs in the ninth as Houston had its four-game win streak broken.

Heading to the hill for the Brewers tonight will be lefty Chris Narveson, who has won his last three decisions and is 9-6 with a 4.28 ERA. Narveson hasn't started since August 22 when he tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings to beat Pittsburgh.

Narveson beat the Astros the last time he faced them, but is 1-2 in eight games (seven starts) against them with a 4.38 ERA.

Houston, meanwhile, will counter with righty Bud Norris, who is 6-8 with a 3.68 ERA. Norris did not get a decision on Sunday in San Francisco, but pitched well as he surrendered two runs and three hits in seven innings. He also struck out 10 in the 4-3 win.

"I wanted to go deep into the game, which I did, and give these guys a chance to win," Norris said.

Norris has faced the Brewers six times and is 3-1 against them with a 3.50 ERA.

The Brewers have won seven straight versus the Astros and 10 of the 13 overall meetings this year.