Houston -- Brewers right-hander Zack Greinke threw 75 pitches in his rehab assignment for Triple-A Nashville on Friday and is on schedule to make his Brewers debut, most likely on May 4 in Atlanta, where he could throw as many as 90 pitches.
Friday was the last of three scheduled rehab starts for Greinke, who cracked a rib in Spring Training.
"I know he's looking forward to this being his last one there," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said prior to Friday's game. "To get up and down is what's important. I hope he doesn't run through his pitch count to where he's not getting up and down a lot.
"But he feels good. He was a little disappointed in his offspeed stuff the last time, so hopefully he'll get that on track."
In Friday's 4-1 loss to Albuquerque, Greinke, the 2009 American League Cy Young winner with the Royals, went five innings. He allowed seven hits and two earned runs with seven strikeouts and one walk. He was touched for a home and was charged with the loss. Greinke was targeted for 75 pitches on Friday and he hit that mark, with 50 for strikes.
Roenicke said the Brewers are trying to figure out where to slot Greinke in the rotation.
"It will be either his fifth or sixth day," said Roenicke. "We may move the rotation around a bit. We're trying to see where we can put [right-hander Marco] Estrada and still trying to slot [Yovani Gallardo] in between the two lefties [Chris Narveson and Randy Wolf]."
Saito injures oblique in rehab appearance
HOUSTON -- The Brewers were concerned with right-hander Takashi Saito's left hamstring strain prior to his rehab start on Thursday. Now, the concern has shifted as Saito strained his left oblique on Thursday while pitching for Triple-A Nashville.
"He threw a pitch and felt it," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. "I hope he didn't do it very bad."
Saito was scheduled to fly back to Milwaukee on Friday to see team doctor William Raasch, who will evaluate Saito Saturday morning and decide where the club needs to go from there.
The injury was disappointing to the Brewers, who were hopeful that Saito would join the team in Houston on Saturday.
"We were going to have him go out for one start, really to make sure he'd go 100 percent and try to get that game condition so when he came back here [he would be ready]. ... We were really worried about the hamstring, so this is really tough," said Roenicke. "I know he's disappointed. Let's hope this isn't too long."
Braun could win hardware for hot month
HOUSTON -- Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is in a hotly contested battle with Lance Berkman of the Cardinals for the National League Player of the Month.
Braun's fast start in April has included reaching base safely in each of the Brewers' first 25 games. Friday against the Astros, Braun homered to deep left-center field in the first inning against right-hander Brett Myers.
"It means I've been pretty consistent in my at-bats and my approach to the start of the season, and when you get on base every game, you're contributing to winning baseball," said Braun. "[It's] definitely something I'm proud of, but something I try to keep in perspective. "It's only been  games and the goal is to be consistent over 162, and hopefully more than that."
Braun and the Reds' Joey Votto (26) are the only players in the Major Leagues to reach base safely in each of their team's games this season.
Braun also signed an extension last week that will keep him with the Brewers through 2020.
Braun finished the day batting .362 with 23 RBIs and a league-leading 10 home runs and 24 runs. Berkman was hitting .402 with 8 home runs, 23 runs and 22 RBIs. Both Braun and Berkman have already won NL Player of the Week honors this season.
"I haven't thought of Player of the Month too much," said Braun. "The goal is to perform throughout the course of the year. It's nice to get off to a good start but the challenge is to continue."
Gallardo searching for cure to April woes
HOUSTON -- Since shutting out the Braves on April 5, right-hander Yovani Gallardo hasn't been sharp.
Gallardo, who is 2-1 with a 5.70 ERA, threw a bullpen session on Friday and said he felt fine.
In his last four starts, Gallardo has allowed 21 earned runs and 35 hits in 21 1/3 innings.
"It's hard to figure out sometimes," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. "He doesn't have a reason for it.
"He said physically he's fine. His delivery was a little slow last time. He came out a little too deliberate instead of an upbeat rhythm. Maybe that had something to do with it."
Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.