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Gennett has experience leading off

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NEW YORK -- It's been a little while since Scooter Gennett batted leadoff with any regularity.

"That would've been High A," Gennett said, recalling his 2011 season with the Brevard County Manatees. "Probably 600 at-bats that year leading off. I've led off a lot in my life, but that was the most I've led off in one season.

"It's all the same after the first at-bat. The first at-bat you want to see some pitches, have that team at-bat and see what the pitcher is working with that day. For me, after that, it's all the same."

That's music to Brewers manager Ron Roenicke's ears. Roenicke advised his newly installed leadoff man prior to Tuesday's game -- Gennett's first since replacing Jean Segura atop the lineup -- to not change his approach or change what made him the best candidate to bat No. 1.

Gennett is, however, making a slight change to that approach. His philosophy is to take the first pitch of the first at-bat during a given game in an effort to give himself -- and the teammates hitting behind him -- a look at that night's starting pitcher.

If, Gennett said, he swung at and recorded an out on that first pitch, it would put the team's second hitter, as well as Gennett himself in his next at-bat, at a disadvantage.

"It doesn't set a good tone for the game and it doesn't set a good tone for me," Gennett said. "I've had enough experience in leadoff to know to take that first strike and go from there.

"I'm a pretty aggressive hitter. I don't like watching strikes go by. But I just know from the past, leading off, getting out on that first pitch is not good."

It's unclear how long this version of the Milwaukee lineup will stay intact. Given Roenicke's inclination to not mess with a good thing -- as shown by his hesitancy to tinker with the meat of his team's lineup -- it could be a while.

In just six Major League games batting leadoff, Gennett is hitting .360/.407/.400. He reached twice Tuesday, adding a walk to his 1-for-3 effort.

"I liked what he did. Walked once, got a base hit. It's his job to get [on base], and he did what he's supposed to do," Roenicke said Tuesday night. "I want him to be the same guy. I don't want him out there necessarily taking a lot of pitches. What I thought he did well was I thought he swung at pitches he thought was in the zone, and that's what I need him to do. As we all know, he can chase at times, and if we can keep him away from that, I think he can do a good job there."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Tim Healey 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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