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07/08/11 9:02 PM ET

Braun misses sixth straight start Friday

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke had hoped Ryan Braun would be healthy enough to pinch-hit on Friday night. Instead, Braun needed another day to recover from a left leg injury.

Braun missed his sixth consecutive start on Friday against the Reds. Roenicke stressed that there was no setback, and that Braun was actually seeing continued improvement.

"It seems to be going longer than we thought," Roenicke said. "He's still shooting for hopefully playing a game Saturday or Sunday."

Roenicke to go with setup arms by committee

MILWAUKEE -- Kameron Loe is no longer the Brewers' designated "eighth-inning guy."

Instead, manager Ron Roenicke said he plans to mix and match in the eighth inning when protecting a narrow lead. Candidates include veteran right-handers LaTroy Hawkins and Takashi Saito, along with left-hander Zach Braddock.

Hawkins handled that role on Wednesday and again Thursday, allowing a run both times but protecting the lead. Saito could eventually assume the role on a regular basis, but he is only two outings removed from the disabled list.

"Not that we won't use Loe in that role again, because we will," Roenicke said. "But we're going to look at matchups a little better. ... We're not going to put him out there when there's so many left-handers that he's got to go through."

Roenicke met with Loe to explain the change on Tuesday, a day after Loe had his sixth blown save in as many games by allowing a run and four hits in two-thirds of an inning against Arizona. Loe has 32 scoreless appearances this season, but he has been burned in the other 12 to the tune of seven losses, tops among National League relievers.

"I've got to win my spot back, really," Loe said. "I haven't performed to the level that I thought I would and that I know I can. I told Ron that. I just have to keep going. The good thing is that as a pitcher, you're always going to get your opportunities. I've overcome a lot of stuff to be where I'm at right now, and this is another bump in the road."

Loe added: "Do I like it? No. But that's the situation I'm in right now. I have to prove myself again."

Loe was at the ready on Friday, considering Hawkins and Saito both needed the night off.

"I still have a ton of confidence in Kameron," Roenicke said.

Melvin looking to upgrade roster before deadline

MILWAUKEE -- With the non-waiver Trade Deadline just over three away, Brewers scouts departed Miller Park on Friday with their assignments in hand. But chatter among general managers has been quiet, Brewers GM Doug Melvin said.

"The toughest thing is you call a club and ask them about a player, and they say, 'You think we're out of this?'" Melvin said. "I just saw where Matt Garza came out and made a statement that the Cubs are in this thing and they're ready to put a streak together. You call up a club and the GM takes it the wrong way if you ask about a player. You tick them off. If I was out five games, six games, I'd been ticked off, too."

Melvin, like many general managers, has experienced bullpen help at the top of his wish list. Other reports have said he is looking for a right-handed bench bat.

Melvin expects the market to heat up closer to July 31, the last date on which teams can make trades without first exposing players to waivers. That's why he gathered his pro scouts this week and sent them out to scour other teams' Major and Minor League rosters in advance of making decisions as the deadline nears.

Last call

• Saddened by the death of a fan at Rangers Ballpark on Thursday, Roenicke discouraged Brewers players on Friday from throwing baseballs into the stands. He's always worried about the free-for-all that follows.

Shannon Stone, a 39-year-old firefighter from Brownwood, Tex., died after falling over a railing while reaching for a ball from Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton.

"You want [fan interaction], but I'm going to tell all of our guys, 'Don't throw them up there,'" Roenicke said. "If you want to give somebody a ball, go over to the side and give somebody a ball."

• Former Wisconsin Badgers linebacker J.J. Watt took some early batting practice on Friday and managed to muscle at least two pitches into the left-field seats. Watt was the Houston Texans' first-round pick in the most recent NFL Draft, and he was at Miller Park along with a slew of former Badgers -- including Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy, 49ers safety Chris Maragos and Jets return man Jim Leonhard.

• All fans in attendance for Sunday's series finale against the Reds will get a bobblehead doll of the racing hot dog, complete with a pink bat to raise awareness for the Susan G. Komen Foundation breast cancer charity. The Brewers and Klement's will donate $1 to Komen for the Cure for every hot dog purchased at Miller Park that day.

In addition, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and his wife, Ellen, are hosting the second annual Pink Tie Guy event on Sunday, Aug. 14, with proceeds going to the Komen for the Cure breast cancer charity. For more information on this private event, the Brewers urge fans to contact Joan Enters at joan.enters@brewers.com.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.