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HOU@CHC: Wandy allows three over seven solid innings

Zack Greinke may be perfect at home as a Brewer, but he shouldn't be one to mind some traveling on the road -- especially if it's to Minute Maid Park.

The Brewers' starting pitcher for Saturday's matchup may be 15-0 in his career at Miller Park, but he is 5-2 on the road this season, and is 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in three career starts in Houston.

Not to mention the fact that the Astros club he'll be facing has lost nine straight, with Friday's 7-1 loss to the Brewers to start the three-game series placing the Astros at the bottom of the National League Central.

"I just feel like it's more of playing more loose," Astros outfielder J.D. Martinez said. "Everyone right now feels the pressure, everyone's tight. You don't want to hurt the team, you don't want to do your part to ruin it. Everyone, including myself, is playing a little tight. We have to get back to having fun. It's hard when you're losing."

Getting to Greinke will be easier said than done for an Astros lineup that was held to five hits in Friday's loss, though may be necessary if the team wants to head into the All-Star break with any sense of positivity.

"We'd like to get a 'W' on the board these next two days, for sure," Astros first baseman Chris Johnson said after the loss. "I can't stress how important that will be."

Greinke's perfect Miller Park record has gotten some help from the Brewers' batters, with his last win coming thanks to some timely hitting in a 6-5 win against the Marlins on July 3. Greinke gave up five earned runs in six innings, which was as many as he had surrendered in his first six home outings this season.

"It was a pretty bad outing, everything," Greinke said afterward. "But I got picked up."

The Astros will turn to left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who in his own right is winless in his past three starts, going 0-2 with a 4.35 ERA. He started the season with a 1.99 ERA in his first five starts, but has gone 3-3 with a 5.07 ERA in his past nine.

Rodriguez gave up three runs in seven innings in a losing effort his last time out, with all three runs coming in a three-pitch span in the sixth inning in a 3-0 loss to the Cubs on July 1.

"Wandy pitched well enough to win," Astros manager Brad Mills said afterward. "The sixth inning, obviously, that was everything."

Astros: Mills puts Schafer back in lineup
After Jordan Schafer wasn't in the lineup Wednesday for what Mills described as "behavioral reasons," the center fielder returned Friday in the series opener.

"Everything's good," Schafer said before Friday's game. "We're on the same page and everything will be alright."

Brewers: Lucroy continues recovery
Catcher Jonathon Lucroy continues to recover from his May 31 surgery on his broken right hand, and could join the team by mid- to late-July.

Lucroy took dry swings and threw balls before Friday's game.

"Hopefully we can get that bone nice and solid here pretty soon so I can start some more baseball-heavy activity," Lucroy said.

Worth noting
• The Astros are 23-20 at home this season while the Brewers are 17-23 on the road.

• The teams now are tied 3-3 this season, and the Astros hold a 120-105 advantage in the all-time series.

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