Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 6/3/12
MILWAUKEE For 18 consecutive games, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has put together a starting lineup that was different than the game before. But on Sunday morning, picking that starting lineup took longer than it has all season. "It took some discussion," Roenicke said. That's because for the first time this season the Brewers will be without both Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez in their lineup. Braun is still recovering from a nagging Achilles and hip injury that kept him out of Saturday's lineup, while Ramirez suffered a left quad strain that forced him out of Saturday's game. Roenicke said neither injury is expected to be serious and shouldn't result in either player being on the disabled list, but he wasn't overtly confident on declaring their return coming after the team's off day on Monday. "We'll see with the off day tomorrow," Roenicke said. "We'll see where they are Tuesday. They're both sore today. So we'll figure it out." Without Ramirez in the lineup, the Brewers will use their fifth different cleanup hitter of the year in third baseman Taylor Green. Last year, the team used just one player in the No. 4 spot Prince Fielder. Outfielder Nori Aoki will take Braun's place in left field, while right fielder Corey Hart will again slide into the No. 3 spot. That means Sunday's lineup will feature more players that didn't start the year at the major league level five total than not. And only two players in the lineup Hart and Rickie Weeks were opening day starters. But even with the influx of recent minor leaguers in Sunday's lineup and plenty lineups before it Hart said that the team has responded as those bench players have filled in admirably. "Guys have been stepping up," Hart said. "(Shortstop) Cody (Ransom) has been amazing defensively and got some big hits. And we might not have won yesterday if (infielder) Brooks (Conrad) wasn't in the lineup. It's just one of those things that guys have got in there and done their part." Still, he admitted not having Braun or Ramirez, the team's two premier power bats will be an unusual experience. "It is (strange)," Hart said. "But like I said, guys have found a way to get it done. We wouldn't have won the game in L.A. if Maldonado wasn't playing. It's one of those things that guys who have been playing have found a way to contribute. And that's what you need, especially when the guys that you count on aren't in there." Ramirez batting .249 and Braun batting .310 have accounted for 39 percent of the Brewers' home runs this season, 28 percent of the team's RBI, and 30 percent of the team's total runs.
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