"It was nice to do it in back-to-back nights," Houston manager Brad Mills said Saturday after a 10-inning, 6-5 win over Milwaukee. "When you don't do it all season and you do it in back-to back nights, that's really nice and obviously everybody enjoys that."
That's needed momentum for the only Major League team that hasn't yet cracked 40 wins (38-77), and a welcome morale boost with a locked-in Yovani Gallardo going against them Sunday.
The Brewers' Gallardo gets the start against Houston's Jordan Lyles in the finale of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park at 1:05 p.m. CT.
Gallardo delivered a quality start in all but five of his 23 outings, and he's coming off back-to-back wins, both seven-inning, one-run outings. The most recent was Monday in a 6-3 win over the Reds, and the one before that was a 10-1 win over Houston.
That was the second time Gallardo's beaten the Astros in 2012, but the success against them stretches farther than that: in his last nine starts against the Astros, he's 9-0 with a 2.68 ERA.
"[Gallardo] spotted the ball, and he was ahead in the count," Astros catcher Chris Snyder said after Gallardo's July 31 start. "You've got two sides of the spectrum out there -- they're in hitters' counts, and the guy we're facing is constantly in a good pitcher's count. The outcome of the game tells the tale."
Lyles, a righty like Gallardo, hasn't won since June 26, but turned in his best start in a month his last time out, with seven innings of two-run ball against the Nats in a 3-2 loss that went 12 innings. He took a no-decision.
Lyles, who is just 21 years old, has been working with a new delivery out of the stretch.
"We've got to work on it, get better from it," said Lyles. "But tonight, luckily I didn't have too many guys on base."
Brewers: Marcum nearing return
Right-hander Shaun Marcum has been out since mid-May with tightness in his throwing elbow but could be back for the Aug. 20-22 home series against the Cubs.
Marcum threw 36 pitches in a three-inning start for Class A Wisconsin Friday and is scheduled to pitch with that club again Wednesday.
"It's all going to depend on pitch count," Marcum said. "If I can get up to 65-70 pitches by the end of the second start, hopefully that will be enough for rehab starts and I can get back to Milwaukee."
Astros: Corporan could be on way to Minors
Catcher Carlos Corporan, who went 0-for-4 Saturday, is hitting .275 in 18 games. That's an improvement for the 28-year-old from his .188 clip in 2011 -- but he might have to spend some time in the Minors before coming back up in September.
Jason Castro (right knee) is set to return to the Astros on Monday, and with the veteran Snyder also on the team, Corporan could be the odd man out.
"I'll do everything they ask me for," Corporan said. "Every time they put me in the lineup, I will give my 100 percent."
The Astros were 0-11 in extra innings -- and had not scored in extra innings -- until plating a run in the 10th inning Saturday night to win 6-5.