07/08/12 1:50 PM ET
Brewers go back to Greinke with Estrada to piggy-back
By Glenn Sattell / Special to MLB.com
Brewers starter Zack Greinke will try to top that when he takes to the mound Sunday after pitching to just two batters on Saturday before being ejected. Not only will Greinke start for a second consecutive day, but Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has indicated that Greinke will also get the nod Friday when Milwaukee hosts Pittsburgh in the Brewers' first game back from the All-Star break.
Roenicke said that Greinke told him Saturday that he was good to go for Sunday.
"We won't go deep with Zack today, but we didn't think there were too many negatives in doing it, except for maybe bumping Marco [Estrada] out of there," Roenicke said.
Estrada was scheduled to start Sunday, but will be used in a relief role behind Greinke.
"It'll be a nice piggy-back with Marco and then we'll see where we are, how deep we are, and where the game is as to where we go with the bullpen guys."
Sam Holbrook, Saturday's first-base umpire who tossed both Greinke and Roenicke, will be behind the plate Sunday to call balls and strikes.
Wolf makes rare relief appearance
HOUSTON -- Brewers lefty Randy Wolf wanted to get some innings in before the All-Star break. Wolf started on July 4 and will miss a regular start because of the break. So he was anxious to work in relief on either Saturday or Sunday.
"We talked to him about it," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He actually came to us and asked if he could do it, because he's going to have a long time off in between the [All-Star break]. We really didn't want to do it [Saturday]. He said he was available.
"But Saturday and Sunday were days that we thought if we could get him an inning, we'll do it. Saturday worked out to where we needed him. He felt good after that first inning and went in the second inning. I thought he threw the ball well."
Wolf worked the fifth and sixth innings of Saturday's 6-3 loss. He gave up three hits and one run, striking out a batter.
Wolf said that following the first-inning ejection of Zack Greinke, his adrenaline began pumping in anticipation of making his way to the mound.
"They really didn't want to use me, but I kind of kept myself ready, because I thought that it was a perfect opportunity to pitch a couple of innings," said Wolf, who last made a relief appearance in 2001, getting a win in Baltimore.
"After that first inning, I felt fine," Wolf said. "I told them I could go another inning."
Struggling Axford remains closer for now
HOUSTON -- John Axford has converted 14 of 19 save opportunities this season and remains the Brewers' closer, according to manager Ron Roenicke.
Axford is 2-5 with a 4.86 ERA. His last save preserved a 2-1 win over Arizona on July 2.
"I think when he gets on the mound that same confidence that he had last year is not there now," Roenicke said. "It can't be. But he's still very confident in what he does. He still believes that when he comes out there and there's a save situation, he's going to get the job done.
"But he needs to string together a few really good outings in a row to get that same confidence that he had last year. I think right now, in this series, we're still looking at 'Ax.' That can change. We really haven't talked about that changing yet."
Axford did not appear and there were no save opportunities in the first two games at Houston.
"I know [Francisco Rodriguez] went through a stretch where he wasn't himself, either," Roenicke continued. "But I think if 'Frankie' is himself and there's a point where 'Ax' isn't coming around like he was, we certainly would think about it. Right now, we're not talking about it."
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.