The Milwaukee Brewers will be looking to generate some run support for ace right-hander Corbin Burnes against the visiting Houston Astros on Monday in the opener of the three-game series.
Burnes (4-3, 3.48 ERA) will be opposed by right-hander Cristian Javier (4-1, 3.25).
Milwaukee salvaged the final game of a three-game series at the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, winning 6-4 behind six solid innings from Freddy Peralta. Willy Adames, Rowdy Tellez and William Contreras each homered for the Brewers.
The Astros extended their winning streak to seven with a 2-0 victory over Oakland on Sunday as Framber Valdez tossed a four-hitter for his second career shutout.
Despite going 2-4 on the recent road trip, the Brewers remained atop the National League Central, a game ahead of Pittsburgh, which has lost seven of its last 10. They're the only two teams with a winning record in the division.
The Brewers are 21-4 when scoring at least four runs, 4-17 when scoring three or fewer. They were shut out twice on the trip and lost the first game 18-1 at St. Louis.
The Brewers begin a seven-game homestand as the Astros make their first visit to Milwaukee since September 2019.
Burnes took the loss in his last start, allowing three runs on eight hits in six innings in a 3-0 defeat at St. Louis, with the big blow a two-run homer in the sixth by Paul De Jong.
"I felt great. I thought I threw the ball well," Burnes said. "Outside of the walk in the first inning to (Paul) Goldschmidt that led to that run, from there until the home-run pitch, I thought I threw the ball really well."
Burnes, the 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner, is 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA in his last seven starts. Burnes has struck out 46 in 51 2/3 innings with 19 walks. Last season, Burnes struck out 243 in 202 innings, and fanned 234 in 167 innings in 2021.
"The stuff's been great," Burnes said after the Cardinals game. "The cutter's coming out of the hand really well the last couple outings. Curveball was great tonight, we went to it when we needed to. We're starting to get some more swing and miss, and obviously a lot of week contact, so that's where we want to be."
Opponents are batting .218 against Burnes this season, with five homers.
Burnes has only faced the Astros once in his career, pitching a scoreless inning of relief in 2019.
Javier allowed just one run in six innings in his last start, a 7-3 win over the Cubs.
In three starts in May, Javier is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA, allowing just eight hits in 19 innings with 24 strikeouts. Javier has never faced the Brewers.
The Astros were bolstered at the start of the Oakland series by the return of Jose Altuve, who was 2-for-9 in his first three games this season.
Altuve is hitting .328 in 32 career games vs. Milwaukee with three homers and nine RBIs. All three of those homers have come at American Family Field, where he is hitting .355 in 16 games.
--Field Level Media