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MIL@PIT: Estrada shuts out Bucs over seven strong

The Brewers need just about everything to go their way over the next few days to make the playoffs.

After Friday's loss to the Astros and the Cardinals' victory over the Nationals, the Brewers could be eliminated from the postseason on Saturday with either a loss or a St. Louis win. The Brewers were 12 1/2 games out of the second National League Wild Card spot on the morning of Aug. 20.

"Hey, if [the Cardinals] play great, they deserve it," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.

Marco Estrada will get the ball for the Brewers. On Monday against the Nationals, Estrada pitched fairly well until Carlos Gomez lost a fly ball in the sun. The Nats added five runs after the two-out miscue.

"It felt like it was a blink of an eye," Estrada said of the Nats' surge. "I looked up, the score was 2-1. I was like, 'All right, let's get this next guy out.' Pop fly, next thing you know it's 7-1 and I couldn't believe it. It just happened really quick. It just [stinks], but that's the name of the game, I guess."

Estrada had allowed no runs over his last 13 2/3 innings before Monday.

Rookie Dallas Keuchel (3-7, 4.66 ERA) will take the hill for the Astros. Over his last three starts, the left-hander's ERA is 1.10.

Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said finishing September with a .500 record is the team's goal over the final five games of the season. Houston enters Saturday's game with a 12-13 record this month.

"This is a big series for the Milwaukee Brewers, and if we can somehow upset them and make it tough on them, that's what we're going to do here," DeFrancesco said.

Astros: Players excited about Porter
The Astros players don't know much about new manager Bo Porter, but they do know that he'll bring a lot of passion to the organization. Porter is currently the third-base coach for the Nationals.

"Everybody's pretty excited," catcher Jason Castro said. "I personally don't know him, but I've heard good things. I reached out to a couple of people I know that have played in that organization, and they all have great things to say about him. We are definitely excited to get to know him, and from what I hear he's real passionate and an intense guy, and that will be an exciting guy to play for."

The Astros will finish the season with DeFrancesco. Porter won't take over until the Nationals finish up their postseason run.

Starter Lucas Harrell is looking forward to meeting Porter.

"We'll be going to the American League and we'll have a new manager, and I hope I get to meet him before Spring Training and I can talk to him a little bit, get a feel for him and what his style is and kind get to know him so we can have a relationship and build a winning team here next year," Harrell said.

Brewers: Peralta on track for final start
An MRI scan of Wily Peralta's right arm came back negative, meaning that the rookie pitching prospect could go Tuesday against the Padres, if the Brewers are still alive in the NL Wild Card race.

Peralta complained of tightness in his right biceps during his start against the Reds on Thursday. He was able to play catch on Friday at Miller Park.

"I was really happy that he wasn't real sore today," Roenicke said Friday. "He still felt it a little bit, but he wasn't very sore, which is very encouraging. He saw the doctors and everybody says he is fine, physically."

Since being promoted from Triple-A Nashville, Peralta is 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA in five starts and one relief appearance.

• Ryan Braun stole his 30th base in the sixth inning on Friday. With 41 homers, Braun notched the 11th 40/30 season in Major League history. Comments