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Brewers look to strengthen 'pen by acquiring King from Nationals

MILWAUKEE -- Hoping to stabilize their struggling bullpen,
the Milwaukee Brewers acquired left-hander Ray King from the
Washington Nationals on Tuesday in exchange for a player to be
named.

King was 1-1 with a 4.54 ERA in 55 appearances for the Nationals
this season. The 33-year-old played for the Brewers from 2000-02,
and is expected to join the team on Wednesday.

"It was a shock," King said in a conference call. "I watched
the trade deadline come and go. Anytime you get a phone call from
the general manager's secretary, it's not good."

Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said King would join Brian Shouse as
a situational left-hander in the bullpen.

"Another veteran left-handed guy that can come in," Yost said
of King. "We play teams that have pretty proficient left-handed
hitting coming up. This gives us another option."

After giving up a three-run lead in the eighth inning of
Monday's 9-7 loss to the Houston Astros, the Brewers have lost a
major league-worst 15 games in which they have led by at least
three runs.

Yost said he would rely on a trio of right-handers -- Francisco Cordero, Derrick Turnbow and Scott Linebrink -- in the final weeks
of the pennant race.

"It's pretty much crunch time here," he said.

He said he might use Cordero, his closer, in the eighth inning
the final three weeks.

"Are we at the point where I should start thinking about that
every single day? I think so," Yost said. "Maybe I will push Coco
until he just can't go any further."

Yost summoned Greg Aquino, who had not pitched in the majors
since April, with two outs in the eighth inning Monday to face
Hunter Pence, and the rookie tripled and eventually scored to cost
the Brewers the game.

Yost had veteran right-hander Matt Wise in the bullpen, but
opted to use Aquino. Wise has given up eight earned runs in seven
innings since hitting Pedro Lopez in the face, breaking his left
cheekbone, in a game on July 25. Yost said he did not consider
using him.

"He still hasn't gotten back to the point where he was before
that," Yost said. "It's very difficult when you come in and you
know, he's having 25, 30 pitch innings. He's not ahead in the
count. He's allowing a lot of base runners.

"I still trust him, but he needs to show me somewhere down the
line here real quick that he can be productive like he was
before," he said. "It's not like I don't trust him, but his
outings from that point on have not been very productive."

Meanwhile, Milwaukee purchased the contract of catcher Mike Rivera from Triple-A Nashville, and transferred infielder Tony Graffanino to the 60-day disabled list. Backup catcher Damian Miller is day-to-day with a strained right calf.

The Brewers are in second place in the NL Central behind
Chicago.

"It's a chance to go back to Milwaukee. They're a
game-and-a-half out and compete to try and get in the playoffs,"
King said.

King, who played in the postseason in 2003 with Atlanta and 2004
with St. Louis, won't get a chance to play in October. The deadline
for postseason rosters was Friday.