MLB Insiders: Milwaukee Brewers

The Pirates host Milwaukee in a two-game series beginning Wednesday night at PNC Park. Left-hander Brian Burres pitches for the Bucs. Lefty Randy Wolf will be on the mound for the Brewers.

Milwaukee tries to avoid a ninth consecutive loss Wednesday night in the opener of a two-game set at PNC Park, where it outscored the Pirates 36-1 to sweep a three-game series last month.

Brian Burres (2-1, 5.00 ERA) will look to keep Pittsburgh's momentum going, but he'll probably have to pitch better than he did Friday in Chicago. The left-hander gave up six runs over four innings, though the Pirates' offense bailed him out in a 10-6 victory.

Burres allowed two runs in four innings of relief in an 8-1 loss to the Brewers on April 20.

He'll be opposed by Randy Wolf (3-3, 4.66), who will try to bounce back after yielding six runs over five innings in a 9-5 loss to Philadelphia on Friday.

Facing the Pirates should provide a great opportunity. The left-hander is 7-0 with a 2.72 ERA in his last 12 starts against the Pirates, including 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two this season.

Working on little sleep, right-hander Marco Estrada was very impressive during his Brewers debut Tuesday, allowing just one run over four innings of relief in what became a crushing 5-4 loss to Cincinnati.

Estrada was in line for his first big-league victory until closer Trevor Hoffman allowed three runs in the bottom of the ninth without recording an out.

Estrada, 26, learned he was being called up from Class AAA Nashville the previous evening during a doubleheader. He got home around midnight, awoke at 5 a.m. and caught a 7 a.m. flight to arrive in time for the Brewers' 12:35 p.m. game.

"Maybe I should pitch tired more often," said Estrada, who retired the first nine hitters he faced before surrendering a long homer to Joey Votto. "I had so much adrenaline going, I just forgot about it.

"I was happy with the way I pitched, but we lost. There's nothing I can do about it."

The Brewers summoned Estrada because they weren't sure what to expect from spot starter Manny Parra, who had been pitching out of the bullpen and wasn't stretched out. Parra made it through only four innings, and Estrada went the next four, allowing just the Votto homer.

"We're doing the best we can to make sure we're covered," manager Ken Macha said.

Parra was starting in place of left-hander Doug Davis, who went on the disabled list Sunday with inflammation in the lining around his heart. Estrada had pitched exclusively as a starter in Nashville and therefore was available for multiple innings.

In seven starts for the Sounds, Estrada was 1-2 with a 3.15 ERA. In 40 innings, he allowed 30 hits and 11 walks while logging 33 strikeouts. Opponents were batting only .208 against him.

REDS 5, BREWERS 4: The nightmarish season of closer Trevor Hoffman continued as he failed to retire any of the five hitters he faced, allowing three runs in the bottom of the ninth as Cincinnati overcame a 4-2 deficit. It was the fifth blown save in 10 chances for Hoffman, one more than he had in 41 opportunities in 2009. Joey Votto hit a walk-off single three batters after Hoffman had allowed a game-tying, two-run homer to Scott Rolen. It was the seventh homer allowed by Hoffman in 14 appearances, compared with just two allowed last season in 55 appearances. The Brewers have lost eight games in a row for the first time since they dropped 10 in a row from Aug. 25 to Sept. 3, 2006.


--OF Jim Edmonds was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. Edmonds suffered the injury on a checked swing Saturday in a game against Philadelphia. It was hoped he would avoid the DL after a few days of rest, but Edmonds was unavailable to play, and the Brewers needed a roster spot to call up a pitcher.

--RHP Marco Estrada was called up from Class AAA Nashville to give the Brewers an extra pitcher in the bullpen. Estrada was starting in Nashville but the Brewers wanted a multi-inning pitcher available with LHP Manny Parra moving from the bullpen to the rotation Tuesday in Cincinnati. Parra wasn't stretched out, and he made it through only four innings. Estrada went the next four innings, allowing just one run.

--The Brewers have not had a complete game from one of their starting pitchers since April 24, 2009, when RHP Yovani Gallardo went the distance in Houston. The string of 185 consecutive games without a complete game is the longest active streak in the majors.

--3B Casey McGehee continues to be the most consistent offensive performer on the team. He has reached base safely in nine of his last 10 games, batting .421 (16-for-38) with three homers and 12 RBI.

--LHP Chris Narveson, who threw 130 pitches in 5 2/3 innings in his previous start against Philadelphia, told manager Ken Macha he feels OK and will start Thursday in Pittsburgh as scheduled. Macha was considering giving Narveson an extra day of rest if he needed it.

BY THE NUMBERS: 4-14 -- The Brewers' record at home through May 16. That represented the worst home mark through 18 games in club history.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Once I had an EKG and they were doing the ultrasound and stuff and they can't find anything and it's still killing me, of course you get a little scared no matter who you are." -- LHP Doug Davis, on the scare he got before being diagnosed with pericarditis, an inflammation of the heart lining.



--OF Jim Edmonds (left oblique strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 16.

--LHP Doug Davis (pericarditis) went on the 15-day disabled list May 16. He didn't expect to be sidelined long-term.

--OF Carlos Gomez (strained left rotator cuff) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 6. He will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Wisconsin on May 19 and is scheduled to rejoin the Brewers on May 21.

--RHP LaTroy Hawkins (right shoulder weakness) went on the 15-day disabled list May 9. It was unclear how long he'd be sidelined.

--3B Mat Gamel (slight tear in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list March 25. He will begin a minor league rehab assignment with Class A Brevard County the week of May 17 and will move to Class AAA Nashville as soon as he gets sufficient games under his belt. He hopes to return in late May.

--RHP David Riske (Tommy John elbow surgery in June 2009) went on the 15-day disabled list March 25. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Brevard County on May 11.

--RHP Josh Butler (right elbow impingement) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 2.

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