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Astros Kick Off Weekend Series Against Brewers With Figueroa

(Sports Network) - Ryan Braun's spending habits may change with his new contract extension, but the Milwaukee Brewers hope the big bucks won't alter the way he plays on the field.

Braun and the Brewers will begin a six-game homestand Friday with the first of three straight games versus the Houston Astros at Miller Park. Braun had his contract extended on Thursday and will remain with the only club he's ever played with until 2020. The terms were not disclosed by the club, but a report from MLB.com say that the extension pays $105 million from 2016-20 on top of a $10 million signing bonus.

"I have truly enjoyed the time I have spent in Milwaukee and look forward to spending the next 10 years here," the All-Star left fielder said. "I believe in the direction of this organization and its commitment to winning moving forward. I consider it an honor and privilege to be a part of this organization for the next 10 years."

Braun is a franchise-best .308 career hitter with 133 home runs and 432 runs batted in during five seasons with Milwaukee. This season, he is hitting .359 with five homers and 12 RBI. Braun went just 1-for-5 with a run scored in Wednesday's 4-3 loss at Philadelphia and Prince Fielder added three hits and two RBI for the Brewers, who were aiming for a sweep of the Phillies and lost for the fourth time in six tries.

Jonathan Lucroy homered in defeat and Brewers starter Chris Narveson did not record a decision after he allowed three runs in six innings. Brandon Kintzler was dealt the loss in relief for giving up the go-ahead home run to Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino in the eighth inning.

"To bounce back against a great team and win the first two and really play a good game, I'm really happy the way we played," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.

Milwaukee, which will also host Cincinnati for three games in Brew City, gives the ball to Yovani Gallardo tonight in hopes he can bounce back from his last outing. In an 8-4 setback at Washington on Sunday, Gallardo was pounded for seven runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings, falling to 1-1 with a 4.62 earned run average in four starts.

Gallardo has enjoyed success in his career against the Astros as evidenced by his 7-2 mark and 3.05 ERA in nine starts.

Houston will resume a six-game road trip this evening and is coming off Thursday's 9-1 drubbing at the hands of the New York Mets in Flushing. Astros starter J.A. Happ fell to 1-3 on the season after he yielded six runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. Aneury Rodriguez gave up three unearned runs in relief.

"For some reason, the first few innings, I felt great," Happ told the team's website. "My stuff seemed sharp, and then I stopped finishing my breaking ball. That kind of hurt me. I wasn't finishing that pitch ... and the guys on base, more than anything, [wasn't] good execution. Right now, I might seem like I'm far away, but I'm this close to figuring it out. It's just a matter of finishing the pitch."

Happ led the offense with a pair of hits and Matt Downs put the Astros on the board with an RBI single in the seventh inning. Houston entered the series finale with New York having won two straight and three of four games.

Astros winless starter Nelson Figueroa aims for a win tonight when he takes the ball against Milwaukee. Figueroa is 0-2 with a 7.31 earned run average in three starts and did not factor in the outcome of a 5-3 win over San Diego on April 16. He gave up three runs -- two earned -- in 6 2/3 innings.

Figueroa, a right-hander, is 3-2 with a 4.19 ERA in 12 career games (4 starts) against the Brewers.

Houston and Milwaukee are meeting for the first time since the Astros won eight of 15 matchups with their NL Central rivals a season ago. The Brewers are 4-2 in the previous six matchups between the two ballclubs and swept a three-game series at Miller Park from Aug. 6-8.

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