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Marco Estrada pitches in relief, Mike Fiers likely to start Saturday

The Brewers needed Marco Estrada to pitch a couple innings Wednesday, making the teams decision on a Saturday starter just a bit easier.

Dilip Vishwanat

After a mediocre outing from Yovani Gallardo that saw the Brewers' starter give up four earned runs in four innings, manager Ron Roenicke opted to go to his bullpen and bring in Marco Estrada.

Normally, this would be a relatively meaningless move. Estrada is the long relief man in the bullpen right now, so it's only natural that he comes in when a starter leaves early on. Of course, a hitch has been thrown in with Matt Garza being placed on the disabled list earlier this week and a vacant spot in the rotation for Saturday.

The Brewers had reportedly been deciding between Estrada, who began the season in the rotation, and minor leaguer Mike Fiers to pitch on Saturday. With Estrada pitching multiple innings Wednesday, however, it looks like Fiers is almost certain to be the choice.

Prior to Wednesday, Estrada has pitched just two innings since July 29, both of which came August 2. It seems unlikely at best the Brewers would want to pitch him on just two days rest after tossing multiple innings with no other long relievers up and available, though.

Estrada's home run issues had cost him his starting spot in favor of top prospect Jimmy Nelson. Meanwhile, Fiers has a 2.55 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over 17 starts in Triple-A for Nashville. Fiers also has an 11.3 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9.

The Brewers are playing the Dodgers in Miller Park on Saturday.