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Lineup shuffled amid offensive struggles

Lineup shuffled amid offensive struggles

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MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers started their three-game series against the Nationals with one run on nine hits in their first two games, and for Sunday's finale, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke mixed up the lineup.

Logan Schafer, playing in right field for Norichika Aoki, was penciled into the leadoff spot, followed by Jean Segura and Jonathan Lucroy. Carlos Gomez moved up a spot to fourth, Caleb Gindl hit fifth and Juan Francisco sixth. The final three spots belonged to Jeff Bianchi, Scooter Gennett -- playing for Rickie Weeks at second base -- and pitcher Kyle Lohse.

A new lineup is nothing new for Roenicke as Sunday's card was the 81st different lineup in 111 games this season.

"Every day I write up this lineup and it's difficult to put people in places where they're going to be for a few days," Roenicke said. "It's always game to game."

Roenicke said earlier in the week he will base playing time at second base on pitching matchups between Weeks and Gennett. He also mentioned earlier this season that he likes to give Aoki days off when he is not swinging the bat well. Aoki is in a 2-for-21 skid.

With Aoki's recent struggles in the two-spot and Segura's struggles hitting third, Roenicke would not say who will be in the leadoff spot when Weeks returns to the lineup.

"I'd rather not say," Roenicke said. "[Weeks] has swung the bat well. He's doing his job in the leadoff spot. But Nori now all of a sudden isn't swinging the bat as well. I don't know if that's because he's going through one of those things, or if he actually performs better leading off. And Siggie, since I've had him third, hasn't been hitting as well as he was at second.

"You don't know if it's just slumps, you don't know if it's mentally being in a spot in the lineup where they're not comfortable. That's what we've been trying to figure out. You hope those things don't make a difference, but sometimes they do."

The Brewers' offense had scored just two runs in their previous three games entering Sunday, but Roenicke pointed to the opposing pitching -- as well as missing Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez in the heart of their order -- as a reason for the lack of production.

"[Washington's Jordan] Zimmermann I thought was really good [Friday]," Roenicke said. "[Cubs starter Edwin] Jackson threw the ball well [Wednesday], but I've seen him throw better. [Washington's Dan] Haren, he's a different type of pitcher because of all the cutters he throws. He threw better than I've seen him, some outings that he's thrown.

"It may be a little of both. We're not swinging that well and these guys are doing OK."

Kevin Massoth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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