Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 9/4/12
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke admitted that he didn't know much about shortstop Jeff Bianchi when he came up to the major leagues. After losing Alex Gonzalez for the season, Bianchi was simply another replacement bat in the crowd -- a waiver claim that spent half of the season putting up impressive numbers at Triple-A Nashville -- as the Brewers scrambled to find a suitable shortstop. And through his first 13 at-bats, Bianchi hadn't really shown much to Roenicke or any of the Brewers' organization members, for that matter. He was hitless in that span, and with the Zack Greinke trade bringing shortstop-of-the-future Jean Segura, Bianchi's at-bats figured to diminish. He was sent down with an 0-for-13 statline following him back to Nashville. But since returning, Bianchi has been a man possessed at the plate, showcasing a power stroke that no one expected. And on Tuesday, he continued that hot streak against the Marlins. With two strikes against him, staring down Marlins pitcher Chad Gaudin, and the Brewers leading by just one run in the eighth inning, Gaudin hung a slider over the plate and Bianchi took advantage. He slammed a three-run home run that put the game out of reach another clutch hit for the once-unknown shortstop. It was his third home run in his last 24 at-bats a span that has seen him hit .287 with eight RBI in just five starts. "The three he's hit he's really crushed," Bianchi said. "I didn't know much about him, and you look at the numbers in the minor leagues, and you don't really see something that says he's going to hit balls that hard. "But he's a good hitter." And with his recent success, Bianchi said after the game, an 8-4 Brewers' win, that his confidence has slowly been building with his recent hot streak. "First time up here, you want to have some success," Bianchi said. "I've had a couple big games under my belt here, and the more you play like this, the more confident you are." Bianchi's three-run home run would be the decider on Tuesday night, but the Brewers also got some contributions from other not-so-usual power hitters. Most notably, Norichika Aoki tallied two hits and three RBI, as he and Bianchi accounted for six of the Brewers eight runs. Both were the subject of Roenicke's praise after the game on Tuesday. But it was Bianchi's performance that may have been most surprising to the Brewers manager. "These guys, they come up and you hope for a base hit and he hammers one out of the ballpark. His homers have been big." Follow Ryan Kartje on Twitter.
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