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LAD@MIL: Greinke strikes out seven over seven innings

Aramis Ramirez is off to a slow start this season, but next up on the Brewers' schedule is the team he hits better than any other.

The Astros come to Miller Park for a three-game series starting Monday, and no one will be surprised if Ramirez starts getting hot at the plate against them.

Ramirez has more career home runs (40) and RBIs (130) against the Astros than any other team.

He is hitting .158 with six RBIs after going 1-for-4 on Sunday in the Brewers' 4-1 loss to the Rockies.

Ramirez signed a three-year, $36 million contract in December, and he is being counted on to replace some of Prince Fielder's offense in the cleanup spot. Despite his slow start, he has yet to hear any boos from the Miller Park crowd.

"I think the fans are more patient with you, the pressure to perform right off the bat isn't there like it would be in New York or Boston," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "People don't expect you to come out the first month and have a great month."

The Astros (6-10) will be playing against a division opponent for the first time this season after going 28-50 against National League Central teams last year.

Astros third baseman Chris Johnson believes in the importance of divisional play.

"All the games count for the record, but when we're playing those teams, it helps us," Johnson said. "We can get closer and give them a loss by getting a win."

Astros: A near record
• The Astros' 12-0 shutout of the Dodgers on Sunday is tied for their second-largest margin of victory in a home shutout (they also had a 12-0 win against the Rockies in 2007). The largest was a 13-0 win over the Braves in 1978.

• Astros right-hander Lucas Harrell will be facing the Brewers for the second time in his career. The 26-year-old pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings against them last season at Minute Maid Park.

Brewers: Greinke money at Miller
• Zack Greinke, the Brewers' starter on Monday, is 12-0 with a 2.89 ERA in 17 starts as a Brewer at Miller Park. In addition to his personal winning streak, the Brewers as a team are 17-0 in home games started by Greinke.

Worth noting
• Ramirez rarely has a good first month, and is a career .255 hitter in March and April. He has a history of getting better as the season goes on. In August, for example, he is a .306 hitter.

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