Notes: Brewers pick up slack by break

Notes: Brewers pick up slack by break

MINNEAPOLIS -- Even with a pair of starters on the disabled list for the past two months, including ace Ben Sheets, the Brewers are holding their own in the National League Central.

Since a season-high eight-game losing streak, including four losses to open June, Milwaukee closed the month at 14-10 to pull back into the pennant race. The Brewers went from a season-worst 9 1/2 games back to division-leading St. Louis on June 4 to just 4 1/2 back at the end of the month.

"[It's] extremely critical," manager Ned Yost said. "You lose two pretty good pitchers like we lost -- that's a pretty big hit. It's really important that someone steps up and picks up the slack, and the other three starters have done that."

Sheets will throw a simulated game this week and will be reevaluated for a rehabilitation start. He and Tomo Ohka, who's scheduled to make his first rehab start on Sunday, should return in the weeks following the All-Star Game.

"It's almost like making a big trade, even though it's not," Yost said. "You're adding two quality starters back into your rotation."

Yost wouldn't say if the Brewers need to make a move before the trade deadline to capture the division title over St. Louis and Cincinnati, who the Brewers begins a three-game set with Monday.

"I think we have enough to make a run right now," Yost said. "I worry about the game. I don't worry about any of that other stuff."

Turnbow struggling with slider: Brewers closer Derrick Turnbow blew his first save since June 3 on Saturday after struggling with his command in the eighth inning against Minnesota. Turnbow said he's almost throwing his fastball exclusively right now.

"My slider's not there right now and that's a big pitch for me," he said. "If you get a guy 0-2 and you can't put guys away, stuff like that can happen. I was horrible out there and they made me pay for it."

Weeks of error-free ball: After struggling with the glove in the early going, Milwaukee second baseman Rickie Weeks has come around. He committed 20 errors through his first 52 games, but hasn't had a miscue in four weeks. Weeks still leads the Major Leagues with errors, though, committing three more than Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal.

"He's doing fine," Yost said. "He's working hard every day. You just keep working to get better."

Brewers bits: Carlos Lee was named Brewers Player of the Month for June with a .318 batting average, eight home runs and 21 RBIs. Chris Capuano is the Pitcher of the Month after going 4-0 with a 2.57 ERA. He's won each of the first three awards this season. ... The Brewers have allowed 44 runs in five games against the Twins -- more than their nine other Interleague games combined. ... Catcher Damian Miller wasn't in Sunday's lineup because Yost wanted to sit him on the day game following the night game.

Coming up: The Brewers begin their final stretch before the All-Star break. They host Cincinnati on Monday with Dave Bush scheduled to take the mound against Aaron Harang at 1:05 p.m. CT.

Jason Brummond is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.