Brewers stick with Kottaras-Wolf battery

Brewers stick with Kottaras-Wolf battery

Brewers stick with Kottaras-Wolf battery
MILWAUKEE -- As well as Jonathan Lucroy has been swinging the bat lately, it was not enough to get him the start Monday behind the plate, even with lefty Madison Bumgarner on the mound for the Giants.

Instead, manager Ron Roenicke stuck with the left-handed-hitting George Kottaras, who typically catches Brewers starter Randy Wolf.

"I didn't wrestle with it, but we did talk about it today," Roenicke said. "I like both of our catchers. I can't imagine production-wise if there's any better pair in the Major Leagues."

Lucroy entered Monday leading the Brewers with a .342 average, including four home runs and 27 RBIs. He drove in seven of those runs Sunday, becoming the sixth player in club history to match that franchise record and the first since Corey Hart had seven RBIs on May 23, 2011, against the Nationals.

A first-inning solo homer and his first career grand slam accounted for Lucroy's first career multi-homer game in what also was his first start batting cleanup. Lucroy's .552 average (16-for-29) with runners in scoring position entering Monday was the best in baseball.

But even as well as Lucroy has been hitting, he doesn't mind sitting out every fifth day.

"It's nice for me to have a built-in off-day every five days," Lucroy said. "And it's not like Georgey can't hit. The guy rakes, let's be honest. With Wolfy pitching, him and George work together very well, so why try to fix it if it ain't broke?"

While Roenicke does like the combination of Wolf and Kottaras, he admitted that he might prefer to be able to use Lucroy in a game like Monday's, with a lefty on the mound.

Lucroy has caught Wolf five times in the past -- twice in 2010 and three times last season -- with the veteran left-hander going 2-2 and posting a 3.10 ERA in those games. Wolf entered Monday's start 24-23 with a 4.37 ERA in 60 games with Kottaras behind the plate.

But the preference has more to do with the ability of Kottaras and Wolf to get on the same page a little better than Wolf and Lucroy.

"I like them both out there," Roenicke said. "[But] I think there should be some times when I'd rather put Luc in there catching Randy. Tonight would be one of them. But we need to talk to them more about that if we decide we're going to go that way."