• Triple-A Nashville Sounds right-hander Mike Fiers struck out nine batters, including seven in a row during one stretch, while allowing one run on three hits in six innings of a winning season debut on Tuesday night. The seven consecutive strikeouts were one shy of a Pacific Coast League record, set by Vean Gregg (Portland) in 1910 and tied by John Montefusco (Phoenix) in 1974.
Fiers was a surprise star for the Brewers in 2012, but could not recapture that magic last season, when he was demoted after a poor showing in the Majors. His season ended in mid-June, when Fiers was struck by a line drive and suffered a broken right forearm.
• Major League Baseball on Wednesday announced the creation of the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award, named for the seven-time NL All-Star who finished his career with the Brewers from 2009-10. A similar award in the American League was named for Mariano Rivera.
The winners will be chosen by a panel of nine of the greatest relief pitchers in history, including Hoffman, Rivera and the four living Hall of Fame relief pitchers -- Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Rich "Goose" Gossage and Bruce Sutter.