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Lucroy taking extra swings to remedy slow start at plate

Brewers catcher prefers to work through slump rather than dwell on it

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy was more interested in working on his swing Sunday morning than pausing to discuss a puzzling early-season slump.

Granted a day out of the lineup so backup catcher Martin Maldonado could start for the first time this season, Lucroy was among a small group of players taking optional batting practice on the field at Miller Park ahead of a series finale against the Pirates. He then went immediately to the underground batting cage to get more work on a swing that has produced one hit -- a triple in Friday's loss to Pittsburgh -- in 20 at-bats over the regular season's first five games.

"Luc has really had some good at-bats," manager Ron Roenicke said. "He stayed on a breaking ball and hit a bullet to second base [on Saturday]. The day before, he lined out to short. He's had some good at-bats. The first couple days he was lost, but then he started swinging well again."

Lucroy, who finished fourth in last year's National League MVP balloting, was swinging the bat well throughout his slightly abbreviated Spring Training. He batted .435 with a 1.306 OPS in 15 games.

He finished the spring with a 12-game hitting streak, then went 0-for-14 to begin the regular season.

"That's why this hitting thing is so difficult," Roenicke said. "You can be locked in for a period of time -- what, three weeks that he was playing? -- and then to just lose it for two days like that, it doesn't make sense. That's the hard part of it. It happens to everybody."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.
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