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'Something better coming' for Shaw at plate

Brewers slugger hoping to increase offensive production down stretch
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

CINCINNATI -- Travis Shaw is weathering a second-half slump for the second straight season. But what he's enduring now with the Brewers is nothing like his grind down the stretch last year with the Red Sox, Shaw said Wednesday.

"Last year was way more exaggerated than this one is," said Shaw, who posted a slash line of .188/.256/.319 in his final 50 games for Boston last season. "At the same time last year, my swing was all messed up. Right now, I'm in a good spot.

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CINCINNATI -- Travis Shaw is weathering a second-half slump for the second straight season. But what he's enduring now with the Brewers is nothing like his grind down the stretch last year with the Red Sox, Shaw said Wednesday.

"Last year was way more exaggerated than this one is," said Shaw, who posted a slash line of .188/.256/.319 in his final 50 games for Boston last season. "At the same time last year, my swing was all messed up. Right now, I'm in a good spot.

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"The last seven days has been what I'm looking for, even though I don't have the results, necessarily, to speak for it. But my swing is in a good spot right now. I'm not searching for something like last year. I'll be better than I've been in the past few weeks."

Recent days offered some results. On Tuesday night, Shaw turned on a 98.9 mph fastball from Reds reliever Ariel Hernandez for a two-run home run, the fastest pitch hit for a homer by a Brewers batter all season.

The day before, Shaw lined a seventh-inning single off Homer Bailey amid a tying four-run Brewers rally to snap an 0-for-16 funk that included a hitless homestand against the Cardinals and Nationals, during which Shaw was hobbled from a series of foul tips off his right leg and foot.

Tweet from @AdamMcCalvy: A good sign for Travis Shaw as he tries to shed a recent slump: pic.twitter.com/RPoEN8kDlZ

After pushing his OPS as high as .956 entering the Brewers' final series in July, Shaw posted a .202/.276/.327 slash line with three home runs from July 28 through the end of Milwaukee's most recent homestand.

"I think I see something better coming," Shaw said. "The last few weeks, I haven't swung the bat very well. But the last three or four days, it's coming around. In the Washington series, I smoked five, six, seven balls and didn't get any hits. I would like to think I'm going to be a lot better down the stretch, and being in the middle of the lineup, that can help."

The Brewers could use the help. They entered Wednesday's series finale at Great American Ball Park averaging 3.67 runs per game (176 runs in 48 games) since the All-Star break.

That was last in the National League. Only the Rays (3.58 runs per game) had scored less in the Major Leagues.

"Look, on offense, we want everybody to be feeling good," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "With depth, you want to score runs, because you know everybody's not going to be locked in every week of the season. … That's how you score runs. You have lots of guys who can produce runs until Travis can get some balls to fall or get out of the park."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Milwaukee Brewers, Travis Shaw