The Cubs righty has struggled mightily in his last four outings, going 0-4 with an 11.09 ERA over 18 2/3 innings. His overall ERA has climbed to a season-high 6.16 during the rough stretch, which followed his last start against Houston. On Aug. 15 at Wrigley Field, Germano threw 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball in a 7-2 win.
"He's a crafty righty, and you have to give credit to him," Astros catcher Jason Castro said of Germano after that game. "He did a great job hitting his spots and keeping guys off-balance and playing the front-to-back game. You've got to give credit to him."
As the Astros try to keep Germano's skid going, they will counter with righty Jordan Lyles. Tuesday will mark Lyles' 22nd start of the season, a new career high. While his overall numbers have been steady with what he did last season in his rookie year, he has increased his ground-ball percentage from 53 percent last season to 66.6 percent this year.
Lyles is 2-4 with a 4.26 ERA at Minute Maid Park this season, and he will look to improve on that as the Astros try to even the series.
"We're going to do the best thing we can to play hard every day, every game and put out the best product we can," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "That's part of how we operate."
Cubs: Jackson could return to lineup Tuesday
Center fielder Brett Jackson, who has been sidelined since Friday when he bruised his right knee crashing into the outfield wall in Pittsburgh, could return to the Cubs' lineup as soon as Tuesday.
Manager Dale Sveum said the Cubs would monitor how Jackson swung the bat before Monday's series opener. Jackson, the No. 3 prospect in the Cubs' system, has appeared in 31 games and started 29 contests in center field.
Astros: Schafer re-injures shoulder
Center fielder Jordan Schafer re-injured the left shoulder that kept him on the disabled list for most of August. Schafer aggravated the shoulder Sunday while making a diving attempt on Jay Bruce's triple.
"We're going to have to keep an eye on him and see where he's at," Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said.
Houston added a right-handed arm to its bullpen Monday when it purchased the contract of Enerio Del Rosario, who was home in the Dominican Republic after Triple-A Oklahoma City's season ended.
The Cubs can climb to .500 all time against the Astros at Minute Maid Park with a win Tuesday. They enter the game 50-51 at the venue.
Chicago is riding its first four-game road winning streak since July 31-Aug. 4, 2011.
Tuesday marks the 11-year observance of Sept. 11, and the Astros will host Heroes Night, during which they will honor area first-responders and military personnel.