|1:10 PM PT2:10 PM MT3:10 PM CT4:10 PM ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 PM MST3:10 PM EST3:40 PM VEN0:10 UAE (+1)3:10 PM CT, September 2, 2019
Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Attendance: 39,046
Houser, Brewers out to keep Astros in check
Right-hander Adrian Houser takes the mound Monday afternoon for the Milwaukee Brewers, who open a key six-game homestand with a two-game interleague series against the American League West-leading Houston Astros.
It will be just the 13th career start for Houser and his first ever against the Astros. However, he did pick up a victory in his only career appearance against Houston on June 12 when he hurled two innings of shutout relief in a 6-3, 14-inning win at Minute Maid Park.
In his most recent outing, Houser left his Tuesday appearance against the St. Louis Cardinals due to a sore left hip. He allowed one run in five innings before exiting.
Houser (6-5, 3.52 ERA) will be opposed by right-hander Gerrit Cole (15-5, 2.85), who has won 11 straight decisions dating back to a May 22 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
Cole, who is 3-4 with a 3.55 ERA in 12 career starts against Milwaukee, is 11-0 with a 2.06 ERA over his past 16 starts. He has struck out 152 batters in 104 2/3 innings during that span.
Milwaukee enters the contest three games behind Chicago for the second wild-card spot in the National League following back-to-back shutout wins over the Cubs over the weekend.
After the two-game set with Houston, the Brewers have their final four meetings of the season with the Cubs to end the homestand.
"We've got two against a pretty good team in the Astros on Monday and Tuesday and then we have a big four-game set against (the Cubs) after that," reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich said after belting a three-run homer off Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning Sunday during Milwaukee's 4-0 victory.
"Really every game is huge for us down the stretch. We're in a position to win as many as we can. It's shaping up to be another fun September."
The Brewers enter Monday's contest following back-to-back shutouts on the road for the first time in nearly two years, when they did it at Pittsburgh on Sept. 18-19, 2017. Five pitchers combined for a six-hitter on Saturday while seven pitchers were used in Sunday's four-hitter.
"They've stepped up and really carried us the last two days," Yelich said of the Milwaukee bullpen. "It's a tough place to play. For us to pull these last two games out after (losing) the first one, and knowing how big each and every game is for our team, it's huge."
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell added, "It's a lot of good pitches. Nothing other than executing pitches. That's the name of the game is executing pitches. I thought our bullpen in particular just executed a whole bunch of pitches."
Cole will have some big shoes to fill after fellow Astros starter Justin Verlander no-hit the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0 on Sunday. It was the third no-hitter for the 36-year-old Verlander, who became just the sixth pitcher in major league history to throw at least three no-hitters in a career.
"I can't even put it in words," Verlander said shortly after getting Bo Bichette to ground out to third baseman Abraham Toro, who had hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to break a scoreless tie.
"Been so close to the third one so many times. It just didn't happen. And then tonight (Toro) comes up with a huge homer. Only fitting he was able to make the last out. Ball's in play and you're just hoping it's an out. ... Let's celebrate."
--Field Level Media
Updated September 2, 2019