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MILWAUKEE — A little more than five years after he received a $500 bonus after signing as a non-drafted free agent out of Baylor University [url=http://www.officialhurricanes.com/...sebastian-aho-jersey]Youth Sebastian Aho Jersey[/url] , Nate Orf is finally in the big leagues.

The Milwaukee Brewers selected Orf’s contract Monday from Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he was batting .307 with six home runs and 38 RBIs. Those numbers landed him a spot in the Pacific Coast League’s All-Star team but also fueled a social media movement — #FreeNateOrf — amongst Brewers fans wanting the 28-year-old to get his shot.

“This is the day you put all the work in for,” Orf said. “I signed for $500. This is why I signed for $500, to grind out as long as I needed to have this day come.””

Orf made his debut Monday night in Milwaukee’s 6-5 victory over the Twins and will likely be in the lineup against Tuesday afternoon as the Brewers continue their three-game holiday series at Miller Park.

“He’s a good player. He’s a very good hitter,” manager Craig Counsell said. “He has earned this.”

The Brewers are hoping Orf can provide a spark at a position that’s been an offensive liability all season. Though Jonathan Villar has shown improvement after a dismal 2017 campaign, Brewers’ second basemen are seventh in the NL with a .676 OPS this season, ninth with a .252 average and .299 on-base percentage.

Orf will also see time at shortstop, where Orlando Arcia had struggled to get into a rhythm since opening day and was demoted to Triple-A for the second time this season over the weekend.

“I still firmly believe that Orlando Arcia is going to be a very, very good player in this league for a long time,” general manager David Stearns said. “We have continued to see the defensive contributions he makes on a daily basis but we need to do better offensively.

“At this stage of the year, Orlando was not the type of offensive player we needed. I think we all bear some responsibility for that. As an organization, we need to help Orlando get through this.”

Looking to snap a three-game losing streak, the Brewers will turn to Junior Guerra on Tuesday. The right-hander won for the first time since May 14 his last time out despite allowing four runs over six innings against the Reds.

He struck out six in that outing and has 20 over his last three starts.

Right-hander Jake Odorizzi takes the mound for Minnesota hoping to build some momentum after getting back on track with six shutout innings of the White Sox in his last outing.

Odorizzi had a 3.34 ERA and was averaging nearly a strikeout per inning over his first 11 starts but stumbled mightily at the end of May, kick off a five-stark skid that saw him post a 9.74 ERA over the five stars leading up to his appearance in Chicago.

Extra work in the video room revealed a slight flaw in his delivery and during a bullpen session ahead of his last start, he worked on getting back to his normal mechanics.

“Pitching through a (back) injury last year created bad habits,” Odorizzi told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “It you do it for long enough, it creates an even worse habit, even when you’re healthy. Muscle memory takes over.”

Tuesday will mark Odorizzi’s third career start against the team that selected him in the first round (32nds overall) of the 2008 MLB Draft but the first time he’ll pitch at Miller Park.

He’s 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his two previous starts against Milwaukee and held the Brewers to a run on five hits and a pair of walks while striking out 10 back on May 20, but did not factor into the decision.

When Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore finished reviewing game video of the latest performance by New Orleans’ defense, he came away unimpressed, but not discouraged.

”We didn’t get up for that game and that’s on us. We know we’ve got to step it up,” Lattimore said after practice Wednesday, as the Saints prepared for their postseason clash on Sunday with Carolina. ”It’s the playoffs, so that’s in the past. We’re going to get the job done. We didn’t lose our confidence at all. We’re good. We’re going to get up for this game for sure.”

Lattimore and fellow Saints defenders not only have to address their recent back-sliding as a unit, but also for the presence of star Carolina tight end Greg Olsen, who didn’t play in either of these teams’ previous two meetings this season.

”You’re talking about one of the better tight ends in the game. Not having him is significant and having him is huge,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. ”He’s smart. He’s tough. He blocks for the run. He enjoys competing and quite honestly [url=http://www.officialhurricanes.com/...vo-teravainen-jersey]Authentic Teuvo Teravainen Jersey[/url] , he does so many little things well in regards to zone or man, that third down or red zone – pick a situation – it’s just significant.”

Olsen missed nine games with a foot injury this season. He played in Carolina’s last four regular season games, with as many as nine receptions in one game.

”We do some things with Greg that we didn’t get a chance to do when he wasn’t with us,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. ”Gregg’s a pass-catching threat, a good route runner, got good hands.”

He has just 17 catches for 191 yards and one touchdown this season, and had only one reception in Carolina’s loss to Atlanta last week.

Still, Saints defenders expect Olsen to be a factor in a win-or-go-home playoff game.

”Him and Cam have timing together, chemistry,” Saints safety Vonn Bell said. ”He knows the offense. He’s a (former) Pro Bowler. He knows how to use his body” to keep defenders from getting to the ball in flight.

”We just know he’s a passing threat,” Bell added.

The Saints improved from 27th defensively overall to 15th this season. They also enjoyed considerable increases in sacks, from 30 to 42, and interceptions, from 9 to 20.

Yet a 31-24 loss at Tampa Bay in the regular season finale ”left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth,” Payton said.

The Saints’ defense gave up 455 total yards in Tampa Bay. The Bucs converted 13 of 18 third downs and their lone fourth-down attempt. If not for three interceptions – one by linebacker Craig Robertson and two by rookie safety Marcus Williams, the Saints might have struggled just to keep it close.

”We’ve got a fire lit up under us to come out here and play the way we know we’re capable of playing,” defensive tackle Tyeler Davison said. ”Our details weren’t exactly on point like they need to be that last game.”

The Bucs gained 110 yards rushing and had two receivers go over 100 yards, including Chris Godwin, who caught a go-ahead, 39-yard touchdown pass with 9 seconds left.

”Definitely sour to end it with not our best performance of the year by far,” Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said. ”But the beauty of this is we get another shot, and this time it really means something.”

Notes: LT Terron Armstead (thigh), DE Trey Hendrickson (ankle) and TE Michael Hoomanawanui (concussion) all practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday after not playing in Tampa Bay last Sunday. … Several other regulars practiced on a limited basis, including leading receiver Michael Thomas (hamstring), guard Senio Kelemete (knee), tight end Josh Hill (shoulder) and special teams regular Justin Hardee.


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    MILWAUKEE — A little more than five years after he received a $500 bonus after signing as a non-drafted free agent out of Baylor University [...