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Hoffman back in action, but in setup role

Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds

CINCINNATI - MAY 18: Trevor Hoffman #51 of the Milwaukee Brewers is pictured after allowing a game tying two run home run in the 9th inning of the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 18, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 5-4. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Trevor Hoffman returned to action on Sunday for the first the first time since allowing three earned runs in a blown save opportunity on May 18 against the Reds. He got four days off in total, and it seemed to help him this afternoon as he pitched a perfect eighth inning against the Twins.

He won’t return to closing duties until he can string together several quality innings in setup or middle relief. Carlos Villanueva is covering most of the save chances and John Axford is getting some looks, too. Hoffman believes that will change eventually, though, and he’s probably right.

“It’s about winning ballgames,” the veteran told We briefly discussed it, and [the eighth inning is] obviously not where I want to pitch, but I’ve put myself in this position and put the team in a [poor] position. [Manager Ken Macha] needs to worry about many different facets of what’s going on, so if I go out and throw the ball better than I have for a little bit, then things will change back.”

Hoffman, 42, has a 13.15 ERA and a 2.15 WHIP this season even with Sunday’s flawless frame. The trust of Macha and the Brewers faithful will return slowly -- with time and solid performances.