08/28/11 3:07 PM ET
Brewers close in on 3 million tickets sold
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
Hart falls single shy of cycle
MILWAUKEE -- Corey Hart got the tough ones out of the way early Saturday night, leaving him only a single shy of completing the seventh cycle in Brewers history. In the end, Hart never got his shot in a 6-4 win over the Cubs.Hart doubled and scored in the first inning, hit an RBI triple in the second and homered in the seventh. He walked in his other plate appearance, and he would have batted third in the bottom of the ninth inning had John Axford not closed out the Brewers' win. Was Hart thinking about it? You bet he was. "I thought about it before I hit the homer," said Hart, who singled in his first at-bat Sunday to complete the cycle a day late. "Any time you get the triple out of the way early, and I already had the double, it's hard not to think about it. I've never had one." Eric Johnson, who writes the blogs Brew Crew Ball and Brewerfan.net, points out that Hart is only the 31st player since 1919 to go 3-for-3 and finish a single shy of the cycle. The Blue Jays' Jose Bautista did it on April 22 this season, and before that, the last was the Pirates' Jason Bay in 2007. The only other Brewer on that list is Paul Molitor, who doubled, tripled, homered and dropped a sacrifice bunt in a June 2, 1983, win over the A's.
Roenicke: Even in cold streak, Yuni contributing
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke chalks up shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt's current cold streak to bad luck, and he praised the player's contributions on defense.Betancourt batted .369 in his first 28 games after the All-Star break, temporarily quieting calls from Brewer Nation for the team to find a new starting shortstop. But now, he's vanished again from the offense, with a .115 average (6-for-52) in 13 games since Aug. 15. "I don't think he's where he was before he got hot, but in his at-bats, he's still hitting balls hard," Roenicke said. "He did it again [Saturday] night. It seems like every day, he hits something really hard. Sometimes he's getting a hit, sometimes he's not." One key stat backs that analysis: Betancourt's batting average on balls in play during his current cool streak is .111, way below average and an indicator of bad luck. As a team, the Brewers are batting .298 on balls in play this season, which was also the National League average entering Sunday. The Brewers will have another shortstop option once second baseman Rickie Weeks returns from a left ankle injury, freeing versatile veteran Jerry Hairston Jr. to move around the diamond. But Betancourt will remain the regular shortstop. "I wouldn't mind looking at [Hairston] there, but I don't think there's a reason to say, 'I want to see if he can play there instead of Yuni,'" Roenicke said.
The Brewers missed another sign in Saturday's win over the Cubs with Yuniesky Betancourt at the plate, but this time it was not Betancourt's fault. Casey McGehee, who was at first base, misread a sign calling for a hit-and-run, and he was caught stealing.The Brewers will continue working to clean that up, but manager Ron Roenicke was not concerned. He said third-base coach Ed Sedar is continuously quizzing players on the team's signs. "It happens to every team. Sometimes you may go 3-4 months without putting on that sign," he said. "Sometimes they miss a sign or sometimes they see a sign that isn't on, which was the case [Saturday]."
Infielder Felipe Lopez informed the Brewers he will report to Triple-A Nashville on Monday. The team outrighted Lopez to the Minors on Wednesday, but he had the right of refusal and was granted time by Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin to look for a Major League job elsewhere. Instead, he opted to accept the assignment and remain in the organization.