After braving some chilly temperatures for a successful opening day start, Dallas Keuchel can take advantage of the controlled climate of Miller Park to continue his winning ways.
The left-hander looks to build on a solid 2016 debut and help the visiting Houston Astros take Sunday's decisive series finale against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Following up his 20-win AL Cy Young Award-winning season, Keuchel braved the frigid air of the Bronx to yield a two-run double, two other hits and overcome four walks in seven innings of Tuesday's 5-3 win over the New York Yankees.
"He finds ways to get his outs," manager A.J. Hinch told the Astros' official website. "I think even the pitch that he gave up the two-run double was a good pitch, it just hit the line. Very much a Dallas Keuchel start with the exception of a few walks."
Including the postseason, Keuchel has a 1.55 ERA while winning his last six starts. With rain and high-40 degree temperatures forecast for Sunday, the roof at Miller Park will be closed, so he won't need to worry about the elements.
Keuchel hasn't faced the Brewers (2-3) since going 0-2 with an 11.68 ERA in three starts against them during his 2012 rookie season when the Astros were still in the National League.
He'll get the chance to help the Astros (2-3) take this three-game set after they snapped a three-game slide with Saturday's 6-4 victory. Colby Rasmus homered twice and had four RBIs, and rookie Tyler White continued his sizzling start with a solo shot.
"It felt good to get us flowing good and to get up on those guys and get us a `W' here," Rasmus said. "We needed to win that game."
White is 10 for 15 with nine RBIs, and Friday broke Ken Caminiti's club record for the most hits in his first four career games. One night later, he homered for a third straight contest to become the first Astro with three home runs in his first five games.
"It's impressive," Hinch said. "The quality of at-bats are becoming customary. We're expecting it. It's fun to see him. I'm glad he's getting off to this kind of start. He's earned every bit of this exposure."
Milwaukee's Scooter Gennett homered six times in 114 games last season but has half that many through five already. He went deep for the second time in as many contests Saturday, and is 7 for 17 with all three RBIs coming off those long balls.
Teammate Jimmy Nelson takes the mound after he gave up a solo homer and one other run in 7 1-3 innings of a 2-1 defeat to San Francisco on Tuesday. Though Nelson took a hard-luck loss, it was a solid opening performance after he posted a 9.75 ERA to lose his final three starts of 2015.
The right-hander failed to reach the eighth inning in his final 15 starts last season.
"He was good all night. It's great to see," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
This will be Nelson's first appearance against the Astros.
Milwaukee star Ryan Braun hit safely in the first four games before going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts Saturday. He went 3 for 6 against Keuchel in 2012.