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Brewers designate reliever Varland for assignment after rough outing

St. Louis Cardinals' Nolan Gorman, left, rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run off Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Gus Varland during the eighth inning of a baseball game Monday, May 15, 2023, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers designated reliever Gus Varland for assignment Tuesday, one day after the rookie right-hander allowed nine runs in two-thirds of an inning in an 18-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Varland had joined the Brewers as a winter meeting draft pick from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

If Varland clears waivers, the Brewers would have to offer him back to the Dodgers for $50,000. The Brewers could assign Varland outright to the minors only if the Dodgers don’t want to reacquire him.

The Brewers filled Varland’s spot on the roster by recalling right-hander J.B. Bukauskas from Triple-A Nashville.

Varland struggled through most of the Cardinals’ 10-run eighth inning Monday before the Brewers had infielder Mike Brosseau take over. Varland’s ERA ballooned from 2.25 to 11.42.

The 26-year-old made eight relief appearances for the Brewers. His major league debut came on opening day.

Varland spent a little over three weeks on the injured list with a hand issue after getting hit by a line drive from San Diego’s Manny Machado, but he was activated last week.

The 26-year-old Bukauskas pitched one game for Seattle earlier this season and allowed two runs — one earned — in one inning. He had a 2-2 record with a 4.76 ERA in five appearances for Nashville.

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