RHP Matt Garza nearing return to Brewers' rotation

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Milwaukee right-hander Matt Garza pitched a simulated game in what likely was his final test before returning from the disabled list to the Brewers' rotation next week.

As long as Garza comes through the outing without further problems when he reports to AT&T Park on Saturday, he could start as soon as Thursday at home against St. Louis. Manager Ron Roenicke said Garza threw his fastball, slider and curveball effectively. He would throw a bullpen session in a few days leading up to his start like a normal routine.

Garza has been sidelined since Aug. 4 with a left oblique strain. He is 7-7 with a 3.58 ERA in 23 starts this season for the NL Central leaders.

Mark Reynolds broke a couple of bats facing Garza, to which Roenicke said, ''That's a good sign.''

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