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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, April 23rd (All times Eastern)

Houston Astros (7-13) at Milwaukee Brewers (10-9), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Brett Myers (1-0, 2.39) Milwaukee - Shaun Marcum (2-1, 1.90)

(Sports Network) - The Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers will go at it again tonight in the second test of a three-game series between NL Central inhabitants from Miller Park.

Milwaukee hammered the Astros, 14-7, in Friday's series opener, as newly-paid Ryan Braun and Carlos Gomez both homered and finished with three hits, three RBI and two runs scored. Casey McGehee and Mark Kotsay had three hits and two RBI apiece, while Yuniesky Betancourt drove in a pair of runs for the Brewers, who have won three of four games.

Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo recorded the win even though he allowed four runs and eight hits with seven K's in six innings. Gallardo helped his own cause with a home run -- the ninth of his career.

"I think he still has trouble with his command," said Brewers skipper Ron Roenicke. "I don't know if he's trying to hit corners too much. He's used to being able to do it when he wants to."

Brewers infielder Rickie Weeks left the game with a sprained left pinky finger and is questionable for tonight.

Taking the hill for Milwaukee tonight will be Shaun Marcum, who is 2-1 with a 1.90 earned run average in four starts. After winning consecutive starts earlier this month, Marcum posted a no-decision in Monday's 6-3 win at Philadelphia and allowed one unearned run in six innings.

The right-hander has never faced Houston before. Marcum's in his first season with Milwaukee after spending five years with Toronto.

Houston has lost two straight and three of five games. Nelson Figueroa was banged around for six runs and six hits in four innings to fall to 0-3 on the season for the Astros.

"My command was definitely off," said Figueroa. "When I was working the ball over the outside of the plate it was getting out of my hand and they weren't swinging at those pitches. They're a very aggressive team and made me throw a lot of pitches early and when they hit them, they hit them hard."

Jose Valdez allowed four runs and Enerio Del Rosario was touched for three in relief. Michael Bourn, Brett Wallace and Humberto Quintero each had three hits and an RBI in defeat.

Brett Myers will make his fifth start of the season tonight and is 1-0 with a 2.39 ERA. He last took the hill in Sunday's 8-6 loss versus San Diego and did not record a decision after he gave up three runs in six innings.

The right-hander has lasted at least six innings in each of his four starts so far. Myers is 5-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 12 career games (8 starts) against Milwaukee.

Houston and Milwaukee are meeting for the first time since the Astros won eight of 15 matchups with their NL Central rivals a season ago. The Brewers are 5-2 in the previous seven matchups between the two ballclubs and swept a three-game series at Miller Park from Aug. 6-8.

04/23 10:43:53 ET

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