Looking for spark, Roenicke cancels BP

Looking for spark, Roenicke cancels BP

ATLANTA -- The Brewers have scored a total of five runs during their current four-game losing streak, including two shutouts. In order to shake things up, Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke decided his club would not take batting practice on the field Wednesday.

"My gosh, we grind it," Roenicke said. "We go out there and work hard on the field, in the cages. Just trying to do something different to get sparked, and sometimes it works. Hopefully, it does."

The Brewers entered Wednesday batting .227 (132-for-582) during May, tying them with the Reds for the worst clip in the Majors. Milwaukee also ranks 27th with 58 runs scored and 29th with a .287 on-base percentage this month.

Particularly troublesome for the Brewers is their inability come through in run-scoring opportunities. Milwaukee is just 1-for-25 with runners in scoring position during the past four games, including a line of 0-for-15 in two contests against Atlanta.

The Brewers even struggled to bring men home in their most recent victory on May 16, finishing 2-for-10 with RISP in a 4-3 win against the Cubs.

Despite the struggles, first baseman Lyle Overbay, who finished 0-for-4 and was retired three times on one pitch in each at-bat in Tuesday night's loss, does not feel that he and his teammates have begun pressing at the plate.

"If we're getting a good pitch to hit and hitting it hard or if we're swing-and-a-miss or fouling it off, but we're still getting a good pitch to hit, then that's the way this game goes," Overbay said. "But if we start swinging at bad pitches and start expanding our zone, then you've got to kind of step back a little bit, but I don't think we're doing that quite yet."

Roenicke mainly wanted his players to save their swings for Braves starter Ervin Santana on Wednesday night. Besides, he believes the brief departure from the ritual of batting practice will help give his players a mental break.

"They swing a lot," Roenicke said. "Guys swing today more than they've ever swung. In part, it's because cages are, they're in the clubhouse. They're there all the time, so you go through routines, and I like it. I think it's good, but they swing a lot."

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