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MIL@CIN: Fiers fans eight over 4 1/3 vs. the Reds

The Brewers understand that their odds to reach the postseason are slim at best, but they aren't giving up hope with four games to go.

"They know," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "They know what's going on, they know what we have to do. We have to get a ton of help. It doesn't look real good."

Milwaukee will be officially eliminated from the postseason with a loss or a Cardinals victory in any of the remaining four days of the season.

Rookie Mike Fiers will make his final start on Sunday. On Aug. 1 against the Astros, Fiers allowed two runs on eight hits in six innings. His ERA in 11 games at home is 3.02.

He's struggled in September, posting a 6.97 ERA in five starts.

"I guess this month hasn't been the greatest for me, but I'm not going to say that I'm tired," Fiers said after his last start. "I think I'm just getting beat. I have to make better pitches."

To avoid setting a club record for losses, the Astros need to win their remaining four games. They dropped their 106th game of the season on Saturday, which equals their loss total from last season.

Right-hander Jordan Lyles gets the ball for Houston. He is 4-12 with a 5.44 ERA in 24 starts this season. Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco wants to see a little more of a competitive edge from Lyles.

"He has great stuff, but when the staff starts getting a little hairy out there, he's going to have to have to learn how to step up a little bit and turn it up a notch and be a little more aggressive on the mound," DeFrancesco said. "Almost a [Cardinals pitcher Chris] Carpenter style. If he can get to that kind of mentality, I think he's going to be a great pitcher in the big leagues."

Lyles has not allowed a single home run over his last five starts. The Astros have scored just three runs in support of Lyles over his last four starts.

Astros: Maxwell cherishing opportunity to play
Astros outfielder Justin Maxwell, claimed off waivers from the Yankees on April 4, leads the Astros in home runs (17) and ranks second on the club in RBIs (50).

He entered this season with 260 career plate appearances and has 339 heading into Sunday's series finale against the Brewers.

"I've been really grateful for the opportunity to play in the big leagues again," he said. "It's going to be neat being on a team during the rebuilding phase. I feel like we've got a lot of exciting, young players for the future. I got to spend time with some of our guys in the Minor League system, and you can tell we're definitely headed in the right direction."

Maxwell, 28, will probably be a regular outfielder for the Astros in 2013. He can play all three outfield positions.

Brewers: Peralta shut down for the season
After Wily Peralta reported soreness in his right biceps following a bullpen session on Saturday, the Brewers decided to scratch Peralta from his scheduled start on Tuesday against the Padres.

"If there were nothing there at all, then there would be a really serious discussion about what to do [with Peralta]," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Still having a little bit -- and it's not bad, just a little bit -- of tightness, it's not worth doing."

Peralta first complained of tightness in his right biceps on Thursday in Cincinnati. An MRI scan on the biceps was negative, but Peralta's status for a start on Tuesday was dependent on how he felt in a throwing session on Saturday.

The 23-year-old will finish the season 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA in five Major League starts and one relief appearance.

"He just had the one game where he was off and in that one game we didn't help him out, either," Roenicke said. "I thought he was outstanding. There's not too many guys that throw the ball the way he does, with that kind of velocity and movement with a nice slider. Impressive."

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