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Gonzalez begins crash course at first base

PHOENIX -- After 13,207 2/3 innings at shortstop, Alex Gonzalez is game for something new. He manned first base in the Brewers' Cactus League matchup with the Indians on Sunday and played a flawless four innings.

"You have to make adjustments," Gonzalez said.

That means moving off shortstop, the only position he's played in 14 Major League seasons, to try his hand at first, where the Brewers have an early-season need after losing Corey Hart and Mat Gamel to knee injuries.

Gonzalez has spent these early days of camp working on positioning and footwork. On Sunday he made one nice play to pick a grounder and throw to second for a forceout, and he later picked a throw out of the dirt.

"Just have confidence in yourself," Gonzalez said. "If you go out there relaxed, you make it easy."

Manager Ron Roenicke said Gonzalez has taken to the position quickly.

"Definitely the hardest part is knowing where you need to be in different situations," Roenicke said. "And secondly would be when you're running to the first base bag, finding the bag while you're turning and looking at the infielders for the throw coming across. Once you get comfortable with those two things, it's easy."