MILWAUKEE -- He was not as dominant as in his last rehab start, but Doug Davis was effective on Wednesday as he took the mound for Class A Wisconsin in Appleton.
Davis tossed seven strong innings, surrendering just one run on six hits. He hit a batter, walked three and recorded four strikeouts. The lefty tossed 96 pitches -- four shy of his targeted total of 100 -- with 63 going for strikes.
Following the start -- Davis' last rehab outing -- he will meet the Brewers in St. Louis. Davis is expected to pitch again during the Brewers' four-game home series with the Giants next week. On normal rest, his next start would coincide with that of right-hander Dave Bush.
Fielder puts slow start behind him
MILWAUKEE -- Prince Fielder has quickly made his slow start a thing of the past.
Fielder is just trying to do what works best for him, and it's working pretty well right now. On the Brewers' current homestand, Fielder has four home runs and eight RBIs, increasing his season totals to 17 homers and 35 RBIs.
With his recent power barrage, including a pair of long balls Tuesday night, Fielder leads the Majors with 10 home runs in the month of June. The key, according to Fielder, is just doing what he's always done.
"I'm just trying to swing like I swing," Fielder said. "I've never been a guy to swing easy. When you're not getting results people want you to do different things.
"The only thing I've been trying to do different is swing the way I swing. I've never been a guy that hits singles to left field. That just happens."
Fielder remains fifth on the team in RBIs with 35, but it has more to do with timing than with Fielder's production. While he has 10 homers this month, he also has just 16 RBIs.
Including a two-run shot in the third inning on Tuesday, only four of Fielder's 17 home runs this season have come with runners on base. None of them has been with more than one runner on base.
By comparison, out of Fielder's 46 home runs in 2009, nearly half (24) came with runners on base, including nine with two or more runners on base.
Still, with Fielder hitting home runs, the Brewers' offense, which leads the National League in home runs, total bases and extra-base hits entering Wednesday's game, is only going to get better.
"His RBI total has gone up, too," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "However he wants to knock them in -- solo homers, base hits -- it's OK with me."
Milwaukee pitchers providing some offense
MILWAUKEE -- Facing the Brewers, the No. 9 spot in the batting order is hardly an easy out. Yovani Gallardo reaffirmed that on Tuesday night, going 1-for-1 with a solo homer and a walk.
With a .219 batting average, Brewers pitchers lead the National League. Milwaukee's pitching staff is tied for first with 33 hits and 14 runs. Brewers pitchers also rank first in home runs (3), RBIs (14), doubles (8), on-base percentage (.261), slugging percentage (.331), and OPS (.592).
Along with their success, the Brewers staff has even coined a phrase to describe it.
"These guys have got a quote in here in the dugout," said Brewers manager Ken Macha. "They say, 'Pitchers rake.'"
While the hurlers' ability to swing that bat has come in handy quite a bit of late, Macha would like to see them improve on another aspect of the game at the plate: bunting.
The Brewers rank last in the NL with just eight sacrifice bunts, while they have more than four times as many hits.
"We've been working on our bunting," Macha said. "We've got more hits than we do sacrifice bunts. So we've been putting some time in on the bunting, because eventually we're going to need to move [a runner] up."
Still, on the current homestand, Brewers pitchers have been even better at the plate than their season average of .219. More than double that even.
With eight hits in 18 at-bats, the pitching staff had posted a .444 batting average entering Wednesday's final game of the homestand. Along with that .444 mark, the Brewers have gotten two RBIs, five runs, a walk and a home run out of the pitcher's spot.
Each of the Brewers' five starters -- Gallardo, Randy Wolf, Dave Bush, Chris Narveson and Manny Parra -- has contributed at least one hit, while all of them except Bush have either scored a run, driven in a run, or both.
"We have some pretty good [hitting] pitchers," Gallardo said. "We have a lot of fun up their hitting. [Wolf], [Bush], Narveson and Manny, we take it serious. For certain situations, you can only help yourself out. I think that's what we try to do.
"We joke around out there when we hit BP, but you never know when it's going to come in handy."
Offense struggles with shadows at home
MILWAUKEE -- The shadows aren't going anywhere, deal with it.
That quote, from Rickie Weeks in 2009 about the shadows during Miller Park day games, was recalled by manager Ken Macha on Wednesday when asked about the effect they've had on the Brewers' offense.
Even so, the Brewers have not hit well during the day at home.
In 14 home day games, the Brewers have just a .238 team batting average, with just 51 runs scored and 15 home runs.
"Get it out of your mind and go up there and bear down the best you can," Macha suggested before Wednesday's game. "I hate the saying, but it is what it is. The other teams play in the same thing.
"Does it make it tougher? Yes, it does. But there are shadows in Anaheim, there are shadows in Boston, almost every stadium's got the shadows."
On the season, the Brewers have been nearly 30 points better overall than in home day games, with a .267 batting average. With 96 home runs in 77 games, the Brewers average 1.24 homers per game.
That rate goes up slightly at night, as they hit 1.29 per game. During the day, however, it dips to just 1.07 homers per game.
Some hitters, however, perform even better during home day games. Weeks and Casey McGehee are hitting .320 and .308, respectively, during home game days. Even more impressive is Carlos Gomez at home during the day, with a .303 average, compared to just .239 overall this season.
Most affected by the shadows seems to be left fielder Ryan Braun. In 53 at-bats during home day games, Braun has just eight hits, good for a .151 batting average.
Braun entered Wednesday having not hit a home run at home during the day, while collecting just three doubles for a .208 slugging percentage. With a .207 on-base percentage -- boosted by three walks -- Braun has just a .415 OPS in home day games.
Of all hitters with at least 25 at-bats in home day games, Braun's average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and OPS rank last.
With that in mind, day games at Miller Park may seem like a good time for a rare day off for the Brewers' left fielder. For Macha and the Brewers, however, the current roster situation and recent pitching matchups have not allowed for such a move.
"At a later date I might give him a day off when we have a day game," Macha said. "Today, we've got a lefty going. The last day game, they had a lefty going.
"My roster is what it is, too."
Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.