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Brewers put Greinke on the trading block

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River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Milwaukee Brewers are reportedly taking calls from playoff contenders interested in trading for Zack Greinke.

General Manager Doug Melvin was waiting to see if the Brewers could play themselves back into contention, but after going 4-8 after the All-Star break and losing six straight, the Brewers are now nine and a half games out in the Wild Card race and 13 and a half back in their division.

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel cited a Major League source as saying that Greinke is "good as gone." The paper says Texas, Atlanta and Anaheim are making the strongest efforts to get Greinke, who gave up only a run on three hits in seven innings at Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

His next start is scheduled to be on Sunday, just two days before the trade deadline. Greinke was offered a five-year contract just north of $100 million before Philadelphia upped the ante Wednesday by signing starter Cole Hamels to a six-year, $144 million deal.

The Journal Sentinel says the Brewers could also be attempting to trade back-up catcher George Kottaras with Jonathan Lucroy returning Thursday night from his hand injury.

Pitchers Randy Wolf and Francisco Rodriguez were also said to be on the block, but they've had sub-par seasons which could lessen their trade value. The paper also says teams have asked about Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez, but the Brewers would need better offers to part with either of those.

Bullpen fails again

The Brewers' bullpen handed Philadelphia its first three-game series sweep of the year. The Phillies won all three contests by identical scores of 7-6. They came from behind to win in their final at-bats, as they rallied on the backs of Milwaukee relievers.

Francisco Rodriguez lost his second game of the series Wednesday, as the Phils won in 10 innings.

The Brewers came back from a 5-1 deficit when Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer in the eighth. In the 10th, Carlos Gomez gave the Brewers the lead by scampering home on a sacrifice fly from Aramis Ramirez that barely got past second base.

But in the bottom of the 10th, Erik Kratz doubled off K-Rod to put runners at second and third. Carlos Ruiz then tied the game with a sac fly, and Jimmy Rollins won it with an RBI single.

The Brewers have a six-game losing streak for the first time in almost 15 months. They're back home to host the Washington Nationals in a four-game series that starts Thursday night. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo will face Nationals' right-hander Edwin Jackson.

In need of a closer

Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke says he'll re-evaluate the closer's role again before the Crew begins its four-game home series against Washington tonight.

There's been talk that John Axford would return to the ninth inning spot after Francisco Rodriguez lost two games in the closer's role at Philadelphia this week.

Axford pitched two perfect innings Wednesday, and he struck out the side in the ninth.

The Milwaukee bullpen has blown 18 of its last 38 save opportunities. Roenicke held a long closed-door meeting with his relievers Wednesday to talk about it.

Meanwhile, the Brewers could be making a move in the bullpen. Double A Huntsville reliever Darren Byrd tweeted late last night that the Brewers have called up reliever Jim Henderson from Triple A Nashville. The team has not confirmed it.

The 29-year-old Henderson is in his 10th minor league season. He has never played in the Majors. He has 15 saves in 35 appearances for Nashville this year with a 1.69 ERA.

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