MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke shuffled his lineup Saturday, batting first baseman Travis Ishikawa in the two-hole for the first time in his career and giving Corey Hart his first start in right field in more than a month.
Roenicke said the moves were not an indication of any permanent switches; he simply wants to put his team in what he believes is the best position to win each game.
"Matchups again," Roenicke said. "Were trying to do what we can for that pitcher that night and what we need to do against him to win."
On Saturday, "that pitcher" was Pirates right-hander Kevin Correia, who entered the day with a 5.04 ERA in 17 career appearances against the Brewers. Tailoring his lineup for a specific pitcher left Roenicke with some tough decisions, including benching Friday night's hero Cody Ransom to get Cesar Izturis -- who entered Saturday batting 6-for-10 against Correia -- in at shortstop. But after emphasizing the significance of the first nine games of the second half of the season, Roenicke said he has to pull out all the stops.
"I know right now is a real important time," he said. "So I'm really concentrating on winning every game we can right now."
For Hart, he made his first start in right field since June 10, when he switched to playing first base every day. He has not committed an error in 40 appearances at first this season, and Roenicke was confident he would be able to transition back to right as easily as he transitioned to the infield. Hart, who said he keeps his arm in shape by throwing on a regular basis, felt the same way.
"It will be fun to get back out there," Hart said. "Just for a day, at least."
Filling in at first base on Saturday, Ishikawa said batting second for the first time in his career wasn't going to drastically change his approach, if at all. He knew he would be expected to move runners over and get on base in front of National League home run leader Ryan Braun, but he said those are things he tries to do all the time.
That's because, much like his manager, Ishikawa said it's time to do whatever it takes to win.
"I think you should be focused on that no matter where you hit in the lineup," he said. "Just doing the little things. I think those things contribute to team wins no matter where you hit in the lineup."