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OAK@MIL: Estrada leaves game with strained hamstring

Marco Estrada was supposed to make his final rehab start Thursday on his way back from a two-month stint on the disabled list. Instead, he will be hastily thrown into the Brewers' starting rotation for a Wednesday start against the Giants.

Estrada has been gradually working his way back from a left hamstring strain that landed him on the DL on June 5. He will take Tom Gorzelanny's turn in the rotation after the left-hander was hit by a line drive in his last start. Estrada, who has also battled back issues, made two rehab starts but will skip his scheduled third to aid an ailing Brewers starting rotation that is also without Yovani Gallardo.

"I'm ready," said Estrada, who was 4-4 with a 5.32 ERA before his injury. "Health-wise, I'm fine. The leg's fine, the back's fine. I haven't built up to 100 pitches yet but I'm slowly getting there. I'm not sure what my pitch count's going to be [Wednesday] but it's close enough to where hopefully I can give them the most I can go. Hopefully I can last over five innings. If I can do that, then I've done my job."

In Estrada's last rehab start with Triple-A Nashville, he threw 47 pitches in 2 2/3 innings and allowed two earned runs on three hits while walking two and striking out two.

Estrada said he was hoping to reach 75 pitches Wednesday.

"If it's a long 75, then they'll probably shut me down," he said. "I think it all depends on how the game goes. Hopefully I give them innings like they need."

Estrada did not draw an easy matchup, as he will face the Giants' Madison Bumgarner. The All-Star left-hander has been the best Giants pitcher this year, holding an 11-6 record with a 2.69 ERA.

Bumgarner has a nine-game streak of pitching at least seven innings while allowing three runs or fewer. That streak is tied for second-longest in the Major Leagues since 1996. The D-backs' Randy Johnson pitched 14 such games in 1999.

Brewers: Ramirez pegged for return as DH
Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez fielded ground balls Tuesday and is scheduled to make his return from a left knee injury as the designated hitter in Seattle this weekend.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he will utilize the DH to ease Ramirez back into a rhythm. Ramirez missed 23 games on the DL earlier this season and has missed 26 more entering Wednesday after being placed back on the DL on July 8.

He ran the bases Monday and is expected to do the same Wednesday.

Giants: Pagan's hopeful return set for September
Giants manager Bruce Bochy set the expected return date for outfielder Angel Pagan as early as Sept. 1 on Tuesday.

Pagan has been out since May 25 with a strained hamstring that required surgery, but he has resumed baseball activities like running and hitting in Arizona.

Bochy had a text-message conversation with Pagan on Tuesday afternoon.

"He's coming around. He's actually doing quite well," Bochy said. "He'll have to do some games here -- I don't know when we'll start that -- but it's good to hear that he's upbeat and he'll be playing in September."

Pagan signed a four-year, $45 million deal this offseason and was hitting .262/.314//374 with three home runs, 24 RBIs and 30 runs out of the leadoff spot at the time of his injury.

• The Giants announced they would not pursue a Minor League deal with free-agent left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly prior to Tuesday's game against the Brewers.

The Giants had been linked to Lilly following his release by the Dodgers on Sunday -- coming after he was designated for assignment on July 25.

Through a team spokesman, Giants vice president and assistant general manager Bobby Evans said, "Upon reviewing Ted Lilly's medical history, we're going to hold off on pursuing a Minor League contract right now."

Lilly missed much of the last two seasons with neck problems.

Worth noting
• With Tuesday's 3-1 win, the Brewers locked up their first winning season against the Giants since 2008 when they went 6-0. They are 4-1 against San Francisco this year with Wednesday and Thursday games remaining.

• Bumgarner is 3-1 with a 1.25 ERA in five career starts against the Brewers. Estrada has made one career start against the Giants but left in the first inning with a hip injury. Comments