Carter's slump ends at expense of Padres

May 15th, 2016

MILWAUKEE -- Slumping slugger Chris Carter was absent from the Brewers' lineup Saturday, but that did not mean he had the day off. Carter spent the afternoon in the batting cage under Miller Park, taking swing after swing -- 40-50 in all -- in an effort to correct a minor flaw he believed was contributing to the deepest funk of his debut season in Milwaukee.

On Sunday afternoon, Carter's slump reached 0-for-23 before he emerged. With a monstrous solo home run, a single and a go-ahead double, Carter had a fresh start while the Brewers had a 3-2 win over the Padres at Miller Park.

"To be able to make the adjustment on the fly, after you work on it, that's huge in those situations when you're struggling a little bit," Carter said.

With his 443-foot home run off Padres starter Cesar Vargas, Carter has as many homers this season (11) as Bryce Harper. He leads the Brewers in that category, as well as slugging percentage (.592), extra base hits (22) and total bases (77). Only Ryan Braun, with 27 RBIs, has more than Carter's 26.

His biggest RBI came in the seventh inning Sunday, when Carter lined a double off Padres reliever Kevin Quackenbush to score Jonathan Lucroy from first base to snap a 2-2 tie. Lucroy also homered for the Brewers, his second in two games.

Carter has amassed his statistics despite the second-longest hitless streak of his career. The 0-for-23 stretch -- which did include sacrifice flies in Friday's 1-0 win and Saturday's extra-inning loss -- was second to an 0-for-33 run with the Astros in 2010.

The solution to breaking a slump, in Carter's opinion? Keep things simple.

"Everybody is coming at you with different ideas, telling you to try something new," he said. "But you have to just keep doing what you've been doing and just get back to where you were at before the slump you were in. …

"I try to take every at-bat as a new at-bat and keep going from there."

On Sunday, that strategy paid off.

"I think the good sign about it for me is that he was able to take a day, take some extra batting practice, find something and correct what he thought he was doing wrong," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "I think that's an important sign of growth. You take something that you're struggling with, you understand it, and you're able to correct it."