Schafer gets his first big league start

Schafer gets his first big league start

WASHINGTON -- With the way Logan Schafer has been contributing as a pinch-hitter, his first Major League start had to be only a matter of time.

Indeed it was, as the 26-year-old outfielder made his first career start for the Brewers on Sunday. Schafer batted seventh and played center field while Carlos Gomez nursed a sore left quad/thigh and right foot.

Schafer went 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI before being lifted for Gomez, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Manager Ron Roenicke said before the game that Gomez would be available to pinch-hit if the Nationals brought in a left-handed reliever after starter Chien-Ming Wang. Wang pitched four innings, and the Nats inserted a left-hander in the sixth, leading to Gomez's insertion.

"I think we have enough personnel now that when they make a change, we can make a change," Roenicke said before the game. "If they want to bring out a lefty, it's a situation where Gomez is needed, then we go with Gomez and you still have Nyjer [Morgan] on the bench."

Roenicke praised Schafer's defense in addition to his pinch-hitting, which has been his primary role thus far, and cited it as another reason for his getting the start over Morgan.

"He can really play defense. Really play defense," Roenicke said. "So that helps. What he does offensively, I don't know. This time of year, you don't know what a guy's going to do. He's given us a couple of nice at-bats. He can really play defense."

Schafer, called up from Triple-A Nashville on Sept. 4, is hitting .417 with five RBIs over 12 at-bats in nine games. At Nashville, Schafer hit .278 with 11 home runs and 40 RBIs, with 16 stolen bases in 124 games.

Schafer was also a September callup in 2011, when he went 1-for-3 over eight games.

"I feel good, I had a decent season down in Triple-A earlier and I got to come up. I've been able to contribute here and there during different times in September," Schafer said before Sunday's game. "Being able to get a start is obviously an exciting time for me. I'm ready to hopefully contribute some more."