SAN FRANCISCO -- Outfielder Norichika Aoki and Brewers coaches crossed signals on what was supposed to be a hit-and-run Friday night, a miscue that manager Ron Roenicke called another learning experience for both sides.
Without divulging specifics, Roenicke said all parties shared the blame for the play, in which Cesar Izturis broke from first base, Aoki didn't swing and Izturis was out easily at second.
"It's not like [Aoki] just missed a sign," Roenicke said. "There's things that happen with me getting the sign to Eddie [Sedar, the third-base coach], Eddie getting the sign to the players, that came up yesterday. In the combination, we all need to get a little better to be sure we get it right."
The past 2 1/2 months have been a crash course for Aoki, who is in his first Major League season after playing seven years in Japan. He speaks only a bit of English, so Brewers coaches work with translator Kosuke Inaji to be sure everyone is on the same page.
Roenicke praised Aoki for adapting so quickly.
"It's definitely challenging and [Sedar] has put in the time with Nori, and Nori is good with all of the signs," Roenicke said. "But there are still things that come up, even with outfield signals, trying to move him. ... There are issues that come up that are hard to fix in-game."
Gonzalez headed to DL with knee injury
SAN FRANCISCO -- Brewers shortstop Alex Gonzalez will know more about the nature of his right knee injury following an MRI scan scheduled for Monday. Until then, he resisted the idea that his season is in peril.Gonzalez was hurt sliding into second base in Saturday's 5-2 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park and moved about the clubhouse on crutches. He will be placed on the 15-day disabled list before Sunday's series finale. "We're putting him on the DL pretty fast, so it doesn't look very good," manager Ron Roenicke said. The injury bug has bitten the Brewers hard. Along with Gonzalez, outfielder Carlos Gomez (left hamstring) will be placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday. Third baseman Taylor Green and shortstop Edwin Maysonet will join the team from Triple-A Nashville. To make room on the 40-man roster for Maysonet, the Brewers will move Mat Gamel to the 60-day DL. Gamel tore his right ACL on Tuesday in San Diego and needs surgery. The Brewers' fear is that Gonzalez suffered a similarly serious injury. "It's kind of sad for me," Gonzalez said. "I've been playing every day and playing hard. I've been playing pretty good, too. For me, you can't control injuries." The Brewers signed Gonzalez in December to be their starting shortstop, a role that will go to veteran Cesar Izturis in the near term. Maysonet has some Major League experience with the Astros. "That was an area we didn't have depth at," general manager Doug Melvin said. "Not many teams do. We'll get back home [Monday] and try to figure it out." Both Izturis and Maysonet are a step down from Gonzalez defensively. Gonzalez also had his moments at the plate; before he was hurt, he had just delivered a run-scoring single for a 1-0 Brewers lead. Gonzalez has 15 RBIs in 24 games. "He's been a great player for us thus far," Roenicke said. "We were all really happy and looking forward to seeing what he was going to do this year."
Gomez to hit DL with hamstring strain
SAN FRANCISCO -- It was Carlos Gomez Sr. who taught his boy to play baseball at full speed or don't play at all. It was good advice that sometimes comes with a price.
The Brewers will place outfielder Carlos Gomez on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained left hamstring he suffered hustling to first base on a routine flyout Friday night. The move will be one of many; shortstop Alex Gonzalez is also going on the DL with a right knee injury, and third baseman Taylor Green and shortstop Edwin Maysonet will be summoned from Triple-A Nashville.A dejected Gomez was feeling "much better" by Saturday morning, but said he'd need about a week of rest to avoid further hamstring damage. Gomez's best asset is speed.
"It's hard for a guy like me to take a chance if it is torn a little bit," he said. "You don't want to go to the field and tear it completely, because then you are going to lose a lot of time."
If it were a different player, and a different situation, the Brewers might have resisted placing Gomez on the DL.
But left fielder Ryan Braun has been dealing with a tight right Achilles -- he was back in the lineup Saturday -- and the Brewers did not want to risk playing a man short for a full week.
Then there's Gomez's all-out style, which has made him a valuable bench player and occasional Brewers starter but has also sent him to the DL every year since he was traded from Minnesota to Milwaukee. In May 2010, he hurt his left shoulder diving into second base. Last July, he fractured his left collarbone making a terrific diving catch at Arizona.
On Friday night, Gomez was hustling to first base on a flyout to center field. When he rounded first and put on the brakes, he felt his left hamstring "grab."
"It's really bad and frustrating that ... you're hurt when you play the game right and do exactly what you're supposed to do," Gomez said.
Roenicke does not often tell players to stop playing so hard, but said he has had conversations along those lines with Gomez.
"It's hard to ever have an issue with someone who plays at 100 percent," Roenicke said. "I guess the issue would be that, at 95 percent, I don't think he's going to hurt himself, and at 95 percent Gomey is still faster than anybody we have in this locker room. And nobody would know the difference. At 100 percent, there's that extra that you put on those muscles that strains them to the point where something could happen.
"I talked to him. 'Go 100 percent when you steal a base. Go 100 percent when you're running down a ball.' That's the way he plays and I still want him to play hard, but it doesn't have to be 100 [percent.]"
He added with a smile: "It's not very often I tell someone to back off from 100 percent. I love the way he plays."
Braun returned to the starting lineup after sitting out Friday with a sore right Achillies. He was hurt Tuesday in San Diego, running to second base for his 100th career steal. Roenicke indicated the team would be cautious with Braun in the coming days to avoid a flare-up.
"I'll talk to him during the games, and if there's a time he needs a day off here in the next couple of days, we'll do it," Roenicke said. "We'll see how he does."
The Brewers entered Saturday with no home runs in their last three games, but still led the National League with 32 long balls this season. Colorado entered the day second with 31 home runs and St. Louis and Atlanta had 29 apiece.