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Myers Takes Ball As Astros Face Brewers At Minute Maid

(Sports Network) - Houston Astros starting pitcher Brett Myers has been a model of longevity for his new ballclub and looks to extend a club record tonight in the opener of a three-game series versus the Milwaukee Brewers at Minute Maid Park.

Myers has pitched at least six innings in a club-record 29 consecutive starts and will make his 30th of the season Monday. Larry Dierker previously held the record with 26 consecutive starts, while Myers' run is the longest in the majors Curt Schilling lasted six or more frames over the first 35 starts for Arizona in 2002.

The right-hander, who's only one of just 10 major league hurlers to throw six or more innings in their first 29 appearances to begin a campaign, is 3-0 with a 1.76 earned run average over his last six starts and beat the Chicago Cubs last Wednesday with seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball and eight K's. The effort pushed his mark to 11-7 and lowered his ERA to 2.91. Myers is 4-3 in 11 career games (7 starts) against Milwaukee, which beat the fiery pitcher back on August 7 this season.

Houston has been playing well lately and could use a strong outing from Myers in the continuation of a 10-game homestand. It just split a four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers and recorded a 7-4 win in Sunday's finale in the Lone Star State. Nelson Figueroa got the nod and pitched 4 2/3 innings, permitting four runs and five hits with four strikeouts.

Gustavo Chacin picked up the win for getting the last out in the fifth inning and Brandon Lyon later posted his 15th save with a scoreless ninth. The Astros were forced to use six relief pitchers following Figueroa's outing.

Hunter Pence belted a two-run homer during a four-run bottom of the first inning and Carlos Lee added his 21st home run in the eighth for Houston, which will also host Cincinnati for three games on the residency.

"I think Hunter set the pace with that home run early," Astros infielder Brett Wallace said. "I think he's one of our best but also one of the guys that brings a lot of energy for us. So he set the pace with that and I think everyone's just been feeding off each other."

Much like the Astros, Milwaukee is also playing out the string and was able to salvage the finale of a three-game series versus the Chicago Cubs with Sunday's 2-0 win at Miller Park.

Yovani Gallardo was key in the win and delivered seven shutout innings, allowing four hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Kameron Loe and John Axford went the rest of the way to preserve the shutout, while Axford notched his 21st save of the season.

"I went out there and just tried to follow the game plan," Gallardo said. "I was able to locate my fastball today."

Casey McGehee homered and Ryan Braun finished 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Brewers, who have won three of their last five games.

Taking the mound for Milwaukee tonight will be Chris Narveson. He's 3-0 with a 3.38 earned run average in his last seven starts and is coming off last Tuesday's 4-2 win over St. Louis. He held the Cardinals to a pair of runs and four hits in seven innings to improve to 11-7 in 33 games (24 starts).

Narveson lost to Houston back on May 26 this season, as he was touched for four runs and eight hits in four innings. The lefty is 0-1 with a 4.20 ERA in four career matchups (3 starts) with Houston.

The 2010 season series between Milwaukee and Houston is tied at six games apiece. The Astros swept a three-game set at home from July 30-August 1, but the Brewers responded a few days later with an identical sweep at Miller Park.

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