Astros-Brewers Preview

The Associated Press

A matchup with the Houston Astros was just what reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers needed to break out of their respective slumps.

Veteran left-hander Randy Wolf is hoping it will have the same effect on his winless start.

While seeking that first victory of the season, Wolf will try to help the Brewers continue their dominance over the visiting Astros on Tuesday night.

Braun was 2 for 20 before the series opener against Houston but had three hits, including a solo homer, and drove in two runs in a 6-5 victory Monday. The win was only the fourth in the last 11 games for Milwaukee (8-9) and sent the Astros to a 3-10 mark in their last 13.

"Ryan looks good," manager Ron Roenicke said. "After the first at-bat, he got the base hit the other way, he came back (to the dugout). He said something to me. ... I knew he was feeling good."

Those good feelings might have been expected as Braun is a career .351 hitter against Houston (6-11) and has batted .384 in 35 matchups at Miller Park. The Brewers have won 10 in a row over the Astros since a 5-0 loss in Houston on May 1 and five straight at home, where they are 5-5 this season.

Judging by his recent outings against the Astros, Wolf (0-2, 8.80 ERA) might have a chance to add to those streaks. The left-hander is 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA in his last six starts against one of his former teams and was 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in three matchups last season, his best record and ERA against any opponent.

He earned both of those wins in Milwaukee and is 4-0 with a 0.94 ERA in four home starts versus Houston since joining the Brewers before the 2010 season.

Wolf, though, enters this matchup having allowed a combined 12 runs over his last 10 1-3 innings and gave up four over six frames during a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.

"It's pretty frustrating, but that's sometimes how your day will go," he told the team's website.

The Astros, 2-6 on the road, will counter with Bud Norris (1-0, 4.26), who earned his first win of the season Thursday in Washington despite giving up four runs and a season-high 10 hits. After receiving one run of support in each of his first two starts, the right-hander was part of an 11-4 victory that included an unprecedented three triples in one inning. He also provided a two-run single in that win.

"I just battled to try to get through six (innings) and help this team get a win, and that's what I did," Norris told Houston's website.

Norris is 0-2 with a 9.58 ERA in last two starts against Milwaukee, and has no record and a 4.50 ERA in two career starts at Miller Park, the most recent on June 28, 2010.

Braun is 6 for 20 with two homers against the right-hander, while the Astros' Jordan Schafer, who has reached base in all 17 games, has never faced Wolf.

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