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With baby in hospital, Shaw doing double duty

Third baseman flooring teammates with focus at ballpark amid scary period
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MILWAUKEE -- The easy part was the three hits and three RBIs. The hard part was getting on that airplane.

Yet that is what the job required on Thursday of Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw, after his productive day at the plate fueled a 4-2 win over the Pirates at Miller Park. Shaw had spent the early morning with newborn daughter Ryann and wife Lindy at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, where he's been every morning and night since Ryann was born earlier this month with a congenital heart defect.

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MILWAUKEE -- The easy part was the three hits and three RBIs. The hard part was getting on that airplane.

Yet that is what the job required on Thursday of Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw, after his productive day at the plate fueled a 4-2 win over the Pirates at Miller Park. Shaw had spent the early morning with newborn daughter Ryann and wife Lindy at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, where he's been every morning and night since Ryann was born earlier this month with a congenital heart defect.

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She had multiple open-heart surgeries days after being born and has made slow but steady progress since then, Shaw said. Now, he will have to monitor that progress from afar. The Brewers departed Thursday evening for a weeklong road trip to Atlanta and Cincinnati.

"Going on the road, especially now, is hard," said Shaw as the Brewers packed their bags. "But you've got to do what you've got to do."

Pitcher Chase Anderson, a new dad himself in the past year, teared up as he marveled at Shaw's focus of late. It was in January, about a month after the Brewers acquired Shaw in a trade with the Red Sox, that the Shaws learned baby Ryann would require surgery soon after she was born.

Video: PIT@MIL: Shaw plates Santana with double to right

Dad was away from the team during its June 9-11 series in Arizona but returned to action beginning June 13 in St. Louis. When the Brewers came home to host the Padres and Pirates, Shaw fell into a routine. He'd spend the morning at the hospital, go straight to Miller Park to play a game, then return to the hospital for another hour or so before going home to sleep.

Wake, and repeat.

"I think all year, he's just been a rock for us," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. "I think he's in a place where he keeps it really simple here at the park. He's in a good spot, playing-wise, and he's doing an outstanding job with everything going on. I really think the park is the easy place for him, a place he's able to come do his job, and he's doing it really well."

Bouncing back from an 0-for-4 the day before, Shaw continued his career torment of right-hander Ivan Nova (7-for-10 lifetime) with a go-ahead solo home run in the first inning, a go-ahead double in the fifth and another RBI double for insurance in the seventh. The last hit was inches away from being a three-run home run, but it struck the top of the left-field wall and bounced back into play.

Video: PIT@MIL: Shaw doubles home insurance run in the 7th

The final hit fooled Domingo Santana, who thought the baseball had cleared the fence and was trotting home when he became an easy out to end the inning. Still, the RBI on the play gave Shaw a team-high 51 this season, and his three home runs during his sleep-deprived homestand gave Shaw 14 this season, second on the team to Eric Thames' 20.

"I get the chills talking about it. I can't even imagine what he's going through right now," Anderson said. "But then he goes out on the baseball field and [takes] all of his anger out on the baseball, which is impressive."

How has Shaw done it?

"Just, everything is put into perspective," he said. "[The ballpark] is kind of the getaway for a few hours. Like I've said, sometimes I don't know how I'm doing it or what I'm thinking about, but you just keep riding the wave."

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

Milwaukee Brewers, Travis Shaw