Brewers-Astros Preview

ALAN FERGUSON
The Associated Press

On the verge of their longest losing streak of the season, the Houston Astros might be thankful that it's Bud Norris' turn in the rotation. He might not feel the same way, however, about facing the Milwaukee Brewers or having to pitch opposite left-hander Randy Wolf.

While Wolf will seek a sixth straight win over Houston, Norris will try to help the Astros snap a four-game skid Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.

Houston (15-21) is 2-7 in its last nine with the two victories by one run apiece. Norris (3-1, 3.95 ERA) earned one of those Friday by giving up three hits over six innings and matching a season high with eight strikeouts in Pittsburgh.

He also worked out of a bases-loaded jam in his final frame of that 1-0 victory and did the same during an 8-2 home win over St. Louis on May 5 in which he allowed only one unearned run over six innings.

"He knows he's got enough good stuff to work through that, and he did for the second time in a row," manager Brad Mills told the team's website. "We wish he wouldn't have to go through it like that, but at the same time, it's good to see him battle and tighten the screws a little bit."

Norris, though, hasn't worked himself out of too many jams against the Brewers (16-20) as he's 0-3 with a 10.13 ERA in his last three matchups. He matched a career high by giving up seven runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 9-6 loss at Miller Park on April 24.

Wolf (2-3, 5.63) was also the opposing starter in that game, and allowed two runs and four hits over six innings. The veteran left-hander is 5-0 with a 1.32 ERA in his last seven starts against Houston and has surrendered one run in each of his last two outings at Minute Maid Park, although he didn't receive a decision in either game.

He's also coming off one of his best performances of the season.

Wolf tossed six scoreless innings Friday against the Chicago Cubs but did not get a decision in an 8-7 home victory.

He'll next face a team that snapped an 11-game skid to the Brewers last month. The Astros have dropped six straight at home to their NL Central rivals and might not be at their freshest as they've played 31 innings over the last three games.

They rallied for two runs in the ninth inning Tuesday in Philadelphia but Brett Myers gave up a homer to former teammate Hunter Pence in the 10th for a 4-3 defeat.

The Brewers, meanwhile, are 4-11 in their last 15 road games, but produced an 8-0 rout at the New York Mets on Tuesday behind Travis Ishikawa's two homers and career-high five RBIs.

Rickie Weeks also snapped an 0-for-21 skid with a solo homer, and Aramis Ramirez extended his hit streak to 12 games.

Ramirez is 5 for 11 (.455) with two home runs in his career against Norris and is batting .400 in his last 17 games against the Astros. He's also 11 for 21 (.521) during a five-game hit streak in Houston.

  • The Mariners suspend Steve Clevenger without pay for the rest of the season

    Last night the Mariners issued a statement condemning catcher Steve Clevenger‘s comments on social media about the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests in Charlotte, North Carolina. Today they went further: they just suspended Clevenger for the remainder of the season without pay. Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto said in a statement, “As soon as we became aware of the tweets posted by Steve yesterday we began to examine our options in regard to his standing on the team.

    NBC Sports
  • Matt Kenseth OK with inspection rules change but wishes it was made earlier

    Matt Kenseth finished 9th at Chicago on Sunday (Getty). Matt Kenseth sees why NASCAR made the changes it did to the penalty structure surrounding laser inspection but would have liked to see the change made before the Chase began. NASCAR said Wednesday there would be no more minor penalties for teams whose cars fail laser inspection on the rear of the car. Both Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr.’s cars failed inspection by a slight amount after Sunday’s race at Chicago and NASCAR made the decision to penalize neither team after coming to the realization Johnson’s penalty would be much more impactful than Truex’s because Truex won the race.

    From The Marbles
  • Dan Patrick challenges Usain Bolt to a race, Bolt spots him 40 m

    Usain Bolt remembers the time he last lost and talks about why Jamaica is so good at Track and Field. Dan Patrick then challenges him to race and which prompts a hilarious reaction from Bolt.

    NBC Sports
  • Upcoming UFC fight schedule a bit of a mess

    Dana White makes it sound so simple. In a conversation with Yahoo Sports, he said he plans to have lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez defend his belt against unbeaten Khabib Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov told Yahoo Sports he’d signed two contracts to fight Alvarez: one for UFC 205 in New York in November and another to fight him at UFC 206 in Toronto in December.

    Kevin Iole
  • Vacc's 3 Keys: Jets face Chiefs at Arrowhead

    To keep up with the Tom Brady-less and undefeated New England Patriots, the New York Jets need to beat the Kansas City Chiefs on the road.

    Comcast SportsNet New York
  • What the heck is this thing a Florida player tore off of a Tennessee player?

    Florida’s Quincy Wilson guaranteed the Gators would continue their decade-long win streak against Tennessee, saying "nobody has ever seen a duck pull a truck." He didn’t just talk off the field: He also got into a skirmish with a Vol on the field. Ole Miss finally held onto a big lead! Congrats!

    SB Nation
  • Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly Rips Team After Loss To Duke

    Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly called out his team after a 38-35 loss to Duke. Kelly said his team had no passion in the loss to the Blue Devils. Notre Dame falls to 1-3 with the loss.

    Campus Insiders
  • Daily Dose: Jacoby Brissett impresses while Texans offense sputters

    Jacoby Brissett impressed in his first start and could be a good option with one game remaining in Tom Brady's suspension. His teammate LeGarrette Blount also shined while the Texans offense was disappointing.

    NBC Sports
  • Ryder Cup Dream Teams: All-Time Best U.S. and European Players

    Selecting the 12 greatest Ryder Cup players of all time -- from each side of the Atlantic -- wasn’t easy, but we did it. Here are the 12 all-time, all-star Ryder Cuppers from the U.S. and Europe. U.S. Walter Hagen Ryder Cups: 1927, 1929, 1931, 1933, 1935 Career record: 7-1-1 The match play king of the Golden Era won five PGA Championships, including four in a row.

    Golf
  • Manchester United’s Mourinho: Dropped Rooney still “happy. He is my man, I trust him completely”

    Wayne Rooney was the subject of much drama from social media on Saturday after the Manchester United captain was dropped in favor of Juan Mata. Of course, that drama was quickly subdued when United rolled through Leicester City with four first half goals en route to a 4-1 win at Old Trafford. Mata had a goal and an assist, leading to several questions for manager Jose Mourinho after the match. He answered them. That’s not always a given. From the BBC: “Wayne Rooney is a big player for me, United and this country. he is my man, I trust him completely. He is happy.” “We have lost six points in the Premier League. We have four victories which is really important. Today it is about the security and

    ProSoccerTalk
  • Texas OL Kent Perkins arrested for DWI

    Perkins entered the season with 24 career starts (Getty). Texas offensive lineman Kent Perkins was arrested early Friday morning on DWI charges. Perkins, a senior offensive lineman from Lake Highlands, was booked into the Travis County Jail at 4:54 a.m., according to jail records.

    Dr. Saturday
  • NCAA rules Villanova's prized freshman ineligible to play this season

    The NCAA ruled Villanova freshman Omari Spellman academically ineligible. Replacing Daniel Ochefu just became a whole lot tougher for reigning national champion Villanova. Omari Spellman, the heralded freshman hailed as Ochefu’s heir apparent at center, has been ruled academically ineligible to play for the Wildcats this season, the school announced Friday morning.

    The Dagger
  • Will Michael Bisping get his revenge on Dan Henderson all these years later?

    Dan Henderson knocked out Michael Bisping on his feet at UFC 100. Michael Bisping, facing Dan Henderson in an Ultimate Fighter coaches’ matchup at UFC 100, circled straight into a monstrous knockout right hand. Henderson added another shot for good measure before the referee could intervene.

    Dave Doyle
  • Conforto's blast ignites Mets in win over Phils, presented by W.B. Mason

    Michael Conforto hit a three-run homer and the Mets rallied from a two-run deficit with a six-run fifth inning to win their second straight, 10-5, over the Phillies on Friday night at Citi Field.

    Comcast SportsNet New York
  • Carl Edwards wins sixth pole of year for New Hampshire race

    Carl Edwards added to his series-leading pole total with his sixth of the year, winning the pole for Sunday’s Bad Boy Off Road 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Edwards claimed the top spot with a speed of 135.453 mph around the “Magic Mile.” It is Edwards’ third pole in four races at New Hampshire. Filling out the top five was Martin Truex Jr. (135.212), Ryan Newman (134.896), Jimmie Johnson (134.858) and Denny Hamlin (134.796). “This is what we needed,” Edwards told NBCSN. “We didn’t run well at Chicago, that was really frustrating. Come here, start on the pole, get a great pit stall. Hopefully we can turn this into a good race. The car is built for speed.” This will be Edwards’ 10th top-five

    NASCAR Talk
  • YamatoCannon on Splyce’s chances at League of Legends Worlds: 'We can definitely do some damage'

    At the beginning of 2016, they had just qualified for the EU LCS and were considered by many to be one of weaker teams in the region. Through much of Spring Split 2016, Splyce didn’t do much to change that perception. Splyce came out swinging in Summer.

    Taylor Cocke
  • Maple Leafs seem giddy about Auston Matthews

    With the Washington Capitals, he watched Alex Ovechkin burst onto the scene in 2005. Now with the Toronto Maple Leafs some 11 years later, he has a ringside seat for Auston Matthews‘ debut. “It puts a big smile on your face,” Laich, a 12-year veteran, said about watching Matthews.

    NBC Sports
  • Davis Love III: U.S. Ryder Cup Squad Might Be the 'Best Golf Team Ever Assembled'

    Davis Love III seems to be pretty confident in his 2016 Ryder Cup squad, telling the Golf Channel that he believes the U.S. side might be the "best golf team, maybe, ever assembled." The Ryder Cup is now just a few shorts days away, and although the American team has yet to be rounded out with a 12th member, Captain Davis Love III is certain that his crew includes the most talented group of players possible. "This is the best golf team, maybe, ever assembled," he said.

    Golf
  • Nigeria’s richest man won’t give up until he owns Arsenal

    You might think that Africa’s richest man would be satisfied with his investments. But Nigerian cement tycoon Aliko Dangote, who is worth almost $13 billion (£10bn) according to Forbes, has one ambition that remains unfulfilled—to buy English Premier League club Arsenal. Sign up to our daily newsletter for up to date global news and features. Dangote, 59, and an ardent Arsenal fan, has expressed a desire to purchase the London-based football club multiple times before. The businessman discussed buying a 15.9 percent stake in Arsenal in 2010 before talks with the owners fell through, and said again in 2015 that he hoped to purchase the club “one day at the right price.” But Wednesday, Dangote

    Newsweek
  • Dan Girardi isn’t worried about ‘doubters’

    Hopefully, for the sake of Dan Girardi‘s sanity, he doesn’t hear all of the heckling. The often-criticized New York Rangers defenseman is aware that he has plenty of critics, however, and hopes to bounce back in 2016-17. That doesn’t mean he necessarily loses sleep about it, as the New York Daily News reports. “I want to come out here and prove I can play,” Girardi said. “I know I’ve got a lot of doubters out there, but I’m not really worried about what’s getting said around here or anywhere else. I’m worried about myself, the team and what I can do to help the team. Just play the best I can and not worry about anything else.” In some quarters, Marc Staal also absorbs at least a portion of the

    ProHockeyTalk
  • Not done yet: Cleary re-signs with Detroit’s AHL affiliate

    Dan Cleary is back for another kick at the can. Cleary, who turns 38 in December, has agreed to a one-year deal with Detroit’s AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids, the club announced on Friday. The contract comes just one week after the Red Wings announced they were bringing Cleary to training camp on a professional tryout.

    NBC Sports
  • Barclays adapts to fan base, announces changes for upcoming season

    At a media luncheon hosted by new Islanders owner Jonathan Ledecky over the summer, he made it a point at each table visited to mention how Barclays Center was the Islanders home for the future and how he was working tirelessly hand-in-hand with Brett Yormark to make the experience a winning one for players, their families and last, but never least, the fans. Then came the rumblings, whether they were leaked intentionally or unintentionally, of the team looking for a permanent home that was not in Brooklyn, a facility they can call their own. Not to rain on anyone's parade, but the feasibility of that is slim, at best. So we are back to improving the conditions of the facility the Islanders currently

    SNY
  • Refs inexplicably miss targeting penalty on brutal UCLA hit

    UCLA jumped out to a 10-3 halftime lead over Stanford. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Raise your hand if you know what targeting is. Oh, nobody? Neither do I. About five hours after Penn State’s Brandon Smith was ejected for a questionable-at-best targeting

    Dr. Saturday
  • ‘Pitch’ Brings Us the First Female MLB Player

    Fox premiered its new show Pitch on Thursday. It follows the story of Ginny Baker, who became the first female player in Major League Baseball. We learned her secret weapon, which she learned from her father. A player himself, he taught Ginny to throw

    Superfan
  • Daniel Murphy shut down with left buttocks strain

    According to a report from Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com, the Nationals’ Daniel Murphy has been shut down by the team through the weekend series against the Pirates. An MRI revealed a “left buttocks strain” for the infielder, who injured his leg last weekend while sliding into second base on a double. Several days of rest hasn’t done wonders for Murphy’s leg, and now that he has a clear diagnosis, it gives the team some options going forward. One of those options is keeping Murphy available as a pinch-hitter, since the strain is supposed to primarily affect his ability to run the bases. The 31-year-old took two at-bats off the bench this week, going 0-for-2, though Zuckerman reported that

    HardballTalk