Friday, April 8, 2016

Familiar faces meet as Brewers, Astros square off

Familiar faces will abound when the Astros travel to Miller Park for a three-game Interleague series beginning Friday.
From the front office (Brewers general manager David Stearns spent the past three seasons as Houston's assistant GM) to the field, these are familiar foes, even though they have not played each other since 2013. Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez and pitcher Mike Fiers are former Brewers, while Brewers first baseman Chris Carter, shortstop Jonathan Villar and right fielder Domingo Santana all came from Houston.
Fiers isn't scheduled to pitch in the series, but the others are starting position players. Most of the synergy comes from the trade last July which Stearns worked from the Houston side, sending Santana and three other prospects to Milwaukee for Gomez and Fiers.
The teams already have met once this year. The Brewers visited Houston for a pair of exhibition games last week, but these games count.
Right-hander Chase Anderson makes his first start for the Brewers after being acquired in the offseason from the D-backs. Scott Feldman makes his 2016 debut for the Astros after missing nearly all of September last year with right shoulder soreness.
Things to know about this game:
• The Brewers have a 4.62 ERA all-time in Interleague games, fourth-worst of the 30 Major League teams. The Astros are not much better, ranking 24th at 4.49.
• Houston, a former National League Central rival of Milwaukee, trails in the all-time series between the teams, 127-112, but took two of three games at Minute Maid Park when these teams last met.
• It will feel like a home game for Gomez, who is a .268/.322/.485 hitter at Miller Park, topping his career marks in all three categories. He played for the Brewers from 2010 through last July and represented Milwaukee at a pair of All-Star Games.

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