Izturis gets first start at shortstop with Brewers

Izturis gets first start at shortstop with Brewers

Izturis gets first start at shortstop with Brewers
ATLANTA -- With Alex Gonzalez away on paternity leave, Cesar Izturis got his first start at shortstop for the Brewers on Saturday night, and he will be back in the lineup again in the series finale against the Braves on Sunday.

"He's always been a great defender and he's had a couple of good offensive years also," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He's a good quality player. It will be good to get him a couple more games."

Gonzalez is expected to return to the team on Tuesday for the opening of a three-game series against the Dodgers in Milwaukee. His wife is scheduled to give birth to their third child on Sunday in Florida.

Izturis, who won a Gold Glove Award while with the Dodgers in 2004, signed a Minor League contract with the Brewers after an injury-plagued season with the Orioles last year and made the team in Spring Training.

Izturis, 32, played 150 games in 2010 with the Orioles, but was limited to 18 games last season because of an elbow injury and strained hamstring. A .255 career hitter, he batted just .200 last year.

His only previous start with the Brewers was at third base on Thursday in Chicago, when Aramis Ramirez was given a day off against the Cubs.

Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with his second home run in the Brewers' 10-8 loss to the Braves on Friday before leaving for Florida.

Roenicke said that he knew well in advance that Gonzalez would be taking paternity leave, but that the birth was originally scheduled for Tuesday. A few days off may be coming at a good time for the shortstop, who was bothered by a heel bruise during Spring Training and had it flare up a little bit Friday night.