PITTSBURGH -- The Brewers sent their ninth different starting pitcher to the mound in Friday's 10-3 loss, the first of a three-game set against the Pirates. Johnny Hellweg made his Major League debut against Gerrit Cole, who made his first career start just a few weeks ago.
"It was kind of surreal. I guess the closest I've ever been to floating," Hellweg said Thursday about getting called up. "I guess that was a feeling I've never had."
Hellweg was roughed up in his debut. His offense gave him a 3-0 lead before he threw a pitch, but, after a 1-2-3 first inning, he gave up seven runs (five earned) and lasted only two outs in the second before being replaced by Tom Gorzelanny. Hellweg walked two and struck out one.
The Brewers' rotation has been banged up all season. Marco Estrada and Alfredo Figaro have been held out recently with hamstring and shoulder injuries, respectively.
Hellweg, who the Brewers received from the Angels as part of a deal for Zack Greinke, is the club's No. 3 prospect, according to MLB.com. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said with what he saw from Hellweg in Spring Training, he felt it was the right time to give him the ball.
"He's got a power arm with his sink, and I think in our ballpark that's going to be important," Roenicke said. "So we'll see how he does with the nerves and whether he's been able to get over his offspeed stuff."
Brewers starting pitchers ranked 29th in ERA (5.00), 28th in opponent's batting average (.282) and 29th in innings (426 1/3) entering Friday.
"We need one of the young guys to really step up," Roenicke said. "And he's one of the guys that can do it."
Gomez returns to Brewers' starting lineup
PITTSBURGH -- Carlos Gomez was back in the Brewers' lineup after spraining his left shoulder on Sunday following a scary collision with the wall in Miller Park.
Gomez played center field and hit third on Friday in a 10-3 loss to the Pirates, and he went 2-for-5 with a run. Entering the game, he was batting .313 with a .925 OPS and 12 home runs, eight triples, 18 doubles and 37 RBIs.
The Brewers got word on Friday that Corey Hart will miss the remainder of the season after he has surgery on his left knee, and Ryan Braun's status is still unknown after he swung a bat on Tuesday while recovering from an injured thumb.
The health of Gomez, who has been one of Milwaukee's best offensive weapons, is important, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. But the injuries have continued to pile up for a team with the second-worst record in the National League (32-46).
It's just the way things have gone this season for Milwaukee.
"Yeah, it is," Roenicke said.
Thornburg recalled to aid bullpen
PITTSBURGH -- Because the Brewers' bullpen logged 6 1/3 innings on Friday, manager Ron Roenicke said they needed to add another arm.
So Friday night after a 10-3 loss to the Pirates, the club optioned outfield Caleb Gindl to Triple-A Nashville and recalled right-hander Tyler Thornburg.
Gindl was called up on June 15 after Ryan Braun was placed on the disabled list with an injured thumb. He had five hits in 19 at-bats, appearing in nine games.
Thornburg made two appearances earlier this month when Marco Estrada went on the DL. He allowed two hits and no runs over two innings to pick up his first big league win on June 8 against the Phillies. He made eighth appearances in 2012.
• The Brewers began a seven-game road trip on Friday, while the Pirates started a stretch of 12 of their next 15 at home.
• Hellweg is the eighth Brewer to make his Major League debut this season.
• Jean Segura extended his hitting streak to 11 in Friday's contest with a first-inning single. It is his second 10-plus game streak in June. He led the National League in hits with 102 entering Friday.
Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.