Dallas Braden will be shut down for the next three weeks

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When Dallas Braden strained his surgically-repaired shoulder last week, the A’s weren’t exactly sure how bad of a setback it would be to his ongoing recovery.

But that information has since been revealed.

According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, A’s manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday that Braden will be shut down for the next three weeks and will have to “restart” his throwing program after that. In other words, Braden’s original early-May return timetable can now be pushed back into June.

The 28-year-old left-hander has posted a 4.16 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 491 1/3 career major league innings. Another setback — even a minor one — could put him in danger of missing the entire first half of 2012.

Brewers-Pirates game postponed

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Wednesday night’s game at PNC Park between the Brewers and Pirates has been postponed, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. No makeup date has been announced yet. As Brink points out, the two clubs meet again in Pittsburgh September 21-23 and both have an off day on the 20th, so that could be a potential makeup date.

Brent Suter and Chad Kuhl were scheduled to square off on the mound. Their starts will likely be pushed back to Thursday. The Pirates will host the Diamondbacks and the Brewers will host the Cardinals.

The Cubs won on Wednesday afternoon, so the Brewers are tied with the Cubs for first place in the NL Central. The Pirates are seven games back in third place.