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PHI@LAD: Halladay solid in return from disabled list

Since the All-Star break, the Brewers have played every game like it was a must-win while taking on the top three teams in the National League Central.

When Milwaukee heads to Philadelphia to kick off a three-game series against the Phillies on Monday, Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez said there won't be any time to relax.

"We've got a rough stretch right now," Ramirez said. "We've got the Phillies, then we've got Washington back home; they're in first place, too. We have to bring our 'A' game every single day."

The Brewers started their recent nine-game stretch winning two of three against both the Pirates and the Cardinals. On Sunday, though, they lost their third straight to the Reds to drop to 10 1/2 games back in the division.

They'll hope to get back on track this week against another former division winner that has struggled throughout 2012. But one of the main reasons the Brewers can't look past the Phillies, Ramirez said, is because of who Philadelphia will send to the mound.

On Monday, it will be Roy Halladay making his second start since coming off the disabled list with a sore right shoulder. The next day, Milwaukee goes up against Cliff Lee.

In Halladay's first game back last Tuesday, he allowed two runs on five hits in five innings on the way to a 3-2 win against the Dodgers. After the game, Halladay said he was confident the Phillies could crawl back into contention, despite trailing in the NL East by 13 games at the time.

Since that game, Philadelphia has lost three of four, and hopes Halladay, who said he is building on each time he throws, can help the team turn things around on Monday.

"I feel like each time it's getting a little better," Halladay said on Tuesday. "Consistency, there's still some mechanical things that I just want to be able to repeat better. But I felt good.'

Brewers: Ramirez brushing off trade rumors
• As the non-waiver Trade Deadline nears, Brewers starter Zack Greinke has been discussed as a possible selling piece for the organization. But Ramirez's name has started floating around, too.

Milwaukee signed Ramirez to a three-year, $36 million deal in December, which led Ramirez to believe he wouldn't be dealt. However, he admitted on Sunday, "I could be gone tomorrow."

"Rumors are rumors," Ramirez said. "I've been traded before, so I know how things go. I've been around for a while, and I can't let that bother me at all."'s Ken Gurnick said the Dodgers are among the teams interested in Ramirez, who is batting .277 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs entering Monday. Ramirez notched his 31st double of the season on Sunday, which is the second most in the NL.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke knows Ramirez would be a big loss, especially considering the organization has no strong replacement.

"His hands are great, his arm's great," Roenicke said. "Almost every single throw is perfect. He hurt us in the field last year [with the Cubs]. He made some diving plays against us. He didn't miss anything."

• The Brewers will start left-hander Randy Wolf on Monday against his former team. Wolf spent his first eight Major League seasons with the Phillies, going 69-60 with a 4.21 ERA in 194 games, including a 16-win season in 2003.

Wolf has been more frustrated than ever this season, amassing a 3-6 record despite feeling great. He picked up his first win since April on Tuesday, allowing two runs on eight hits in a 3-2 victory against the Cardinals.

Phillies: Nix returns to action
Laynce Nix made his first appearance for the Phillies since May 9 on Sunday, going 1-for-2 with a single in the 12th inning on the way to a 4-3 win.

Philadelphia activated Nix, who was out with a strained left calf, before Sunday's game against the Giants. In a coinciding move, Jason Pridie was designated for assignment to make room for Nix on the 25-man roster.

Before going down with the injury, Nix was batting .326 with 11 RBIs and two home runs in 22 games with the Phillies. In eight rehab games, Nix combined to go 6-for-24 (.250) with four RBIs playing for Class A Clearwater and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Nix said he didn't expect it to take so long to make it back from injury, but he had suffered a setback that delayed the process "three or four more weeks." Now, he said, there will be an adjustment period after such a long time out of action.

"Having not played in a couple months, it's sort of tough to get the timing back," Nix said. "I probably could have used a few more at-bats, but I'll get back."

Worth Noting
• Monday marks the first meeting of the season between the Phillies and Brewers. The two teams will also play a four-game series in Milwaukee beginning Aug. 16. Comments