Macha meets with Cox before Sunday's game
Managers clear the air on Saturday night's events
ATLANTA -- Bobby Cox sought out Ken Macha during batting practice on Sunday and the two managers talked for nearly five minutes off to the side behind the batting cage. It wasn't hard to guess the main topic.
Brewers slugger Prince Fielder was hit by a pitch on Saturday night after an eighth-inning warning from home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez, resulting in the ejection of rookie left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters and Cox.
Macha isn't happy about his Brewers leading the National League in being hit by pitches and he voiced his displeasure loud and clear after the 6-3 victory, calling on Major League Baseball to look into the situation.
"Bobby and I are friends," the Brewers manager said following Sunday's meeting. "We talked about the situation. Bobby understands his side and he understands my side."
Said Cox when asked about the pregame talk, "It's between us."
Cox admitted Saturday night that Venters hitting Fielder after a home run his previous at-bat off Tim Hudson an inning earlier "looked bad" and that he "didn't blame Prince for being mad at all." But the manager said, "We didn't hit him intentionally ... and that is the truth."
Macha complained to Bruce Froemming, an MLB special assistant for umpiring, after Rickie Weeks was hit twice in the series before the All-Star break against the Pirates. This time he called for Bob Watson, MLB vice president for rules and operations, to review things personally.
Weeks has been hit by pitches 17 times this season and Fielder has been hit 14 times. The first baseman was also hit Friday by the Braves' Tommy Hanson.
"I cannot read intentions of what other people are doing," Macha said. "But just put the evidence out there. ... We've got two guys that have been hit an inordinate amount of times. That's the basic fact."
Macha would like MLB to regularly review hit batters, then levy fines or suspensions if warranted.
"The umpires are put in a very tenuous situation," Macha said. "The NFL is so far ahead of us that it is unbelievable. ... On Monday, they look at the evidence and say, 'Let's put a stop to this.'
"Let's fine these guys a bunch of money. The players' association should be on board for this. ... You ought to get rid of this kind of stuff. ... That's my opinion. Look at the film and hit the guy hard. Then it's done."
Hawkins moved up to Triple-A for rehab
ATLANTA -- LaTroy Hawkins will move his rehab up to Triple-A Nashville after two good outings in the Arizona Rookie League. The target for the veteran reliever's return to the Majors is the last week of July.
Hawkins pitched two innings on Saturday night, allowing a run on a pair of second-inning doubles. He struck out three and walked none as the Brewers beat the A's, 4-3, in Maryvale, where the temperature was 108 degrees at game time.
Hawkins threw 31 pitches and his fastball, which hit 94 mph, was consistently 91-92 mph according to the report Milwaukee manager Ken Macha received.
In his first outing in Arizona on Thursday, Hawkins allowed two hits and no runs over 1 2/3 innings. He had two strikeouts and no walks, throwing 30 pitches.
The Brewers hope to have Hawkins come off the DL during a series at Cincinnati on July 26-28. But before that, he must show that he can pitch in back-to-back games for Nashville.
Hawkins, 37, has spent two months on the disabled list with weakness in his pitching shoulder. He last pitched for Milwaukee on May 5 and in 13 appearances before going on the DL was 0-3 with a 9.26 ERA. On the positive side, he had 15 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings.
Hawkins was signed as a free agent over the winter after posting 11 saves and a 2.13 ERA in 65 appearances for the Astros. He has pitched in 766 Major League games.
Hart hot at the plate amidst trade rumors
ATLANTA -- Corey Hart's hitting has been even hotter than the rumors that continue to percolate with the Trade Deadline approaching. He went 6-for-12 with a homer and four RBIs in the first three games of the Braves series.
That followed a walk-off homer against the Pirates in the final game before the All-Star break and a third-place finish in the Home Run Derby. His homer against the Braves came on his first at-bat in the series opener.
The right fielder went into Sunday hitting .296 with 22 homer runs and 69 RBIs. He leads the Majors with 19 homers and 57 RBIs since May 15 and hit safely in 28 of his past 29 games through Saturday while batting .358.
"They told me he was a streaky guy," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "This has been a long streak, so maybe it's a trend and not a streak."
Hart is eligible to become a free agent after next season and will be expensive for the Brewers to retain. That's why he is the subject of trade rumors despite his standout season.
Gomez gets start in finale vs. Braves
ATLANTA -- Carlos Gomez got the start in center field on Sunday after breaking out of his two-month slump with three hits in Friday's game. He also drew a walk and one of his hits was a double.
"Hopefully, we got a little bit of a step in the right direction," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "He was on base four times. ... On the double, he got the bat head out and rifled it."
But everything didn't go right in the Friday's 9-3 Brewers victory. Gomez booted a base hit for an error and threw wildly to the infield on another hit, badly missing the relay men.
"One physical error, one mental error," Macha said.
Despite his speed in center field, Gomez is a work in progress on defense as well as at the plate.
"We're working every day with him," Macha said.
Gomez and veteran Jim Edmonds alternated starts in center field during the four-game series with the Braves. Edmonds was 1-for-7 in his two starts.
Macha made one other lineup change for the series final, with veteran Craig Counsell playing shortstop in place of rookie Alcides Escobar.
Guy Curtright is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.