Brewers-Astros Preview

The Associated Press

The Milwaukee Brewers' last road victory came more than a month ago in Houston.

After sweeping the NL Central leaders at home, the streaky Brewers hope facing the last-place Astros on Friday night will help them avoid their first 10-game road losing streak in 20 years.

Ryan Braun's two-run double in the eighth inning Wednesday rallied Milwaukee (51-59) to a 3-2 victory and three-game sweep over first-place Cincinnati.

While the Brewers are averaging 7.2 runs during a six-game home winning streak, they've averaged 2.9 while dropping nine straight on the road since a 5-3, 10-inning victory at Houston on July 8.

Milwaukee has not lost 10 consecutive road games since July 31-Aug. 27, 1992.

"I think when we are hitting well as a team, I think we're aggressive on the pitches we need to be aggressive on," manager Ron Roenicke told the Brewers' official website. "But I think when we go bad, I think we start swinging at pitches that aren't good pitches to hit, and we get ourselves in trouble."

Milwaukee needs Braun to get back on track after his double Wednesday snapped an 0-for-18 slump.

"It's not the first time I've struggled; it won't be the last," said Braun, batting .196 in his last 12 games. "But it's never enjoyable when you go through something like that."

Braun has batted .391 with five homers and 15 RBIs in his last 17 games versus Houston.

The Brewers have won seven of 11 against the Astros (36-77) this season, but only two in five games at Minute Maid Park. The Astros (36-77), however, have dropped five in a row and 34 of 38 overall.

Scheduled Houston starter Bud Norris (5-9, 5.07 ERA) is 1-1 with a 5.30 ERA in three starts against the Brewers in 2012. The right-hander allowed one run on a homer to Corey Hart and struck out nine in seven innings of an 8-3 home win over Milwaukee on May 16.

Norris won his next start against the Chicago Cubs on May 21, but has since gone 0-8 with a 6.98 ERA in his last 11 outings. That includes a start July 30 in Milwaukee in which he gave up three runs in six innings while not factoring in the decision of an 8-7 loss.

He allowed four runs in six innings of a 6-1 loss at Atlanta on Sunday.

"I've been throwing the ball as best I can and working hard and trying to get better, but I haven't caught that many breaks this year," said Norris, who has gotten an average of 2.33 runs in support during his 11-start winless drought.

Brett Wallace had three of the five hits Thursday for Houston, which lost 5-0 to complete a four-game home sweep at the hands of Washington. Wallace is batting .345 (10 for 29) in his last eight games.

Milwaukee's Mark Rogers (0-1, 5.91) makes his third straight start since being called up from Triple-A Nashville and first against the Astros. The right-hander looks to rebound after he allowed five runs in five innings of a 6-1 loss at St. Louis on Saturday.

Rogers, who pitched a scoreless inning of relief at Houston on Sept. 15, could face Tyler Greene after the Astros acquired the infielder from St. Louis on Thursday.

Greene hit .218 with four home runs and 19 RBIs in 77 games for the Cardinals this season.

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