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Gennett hopes 2-run single leads to hot streak

Brewers second baseman struggling as of late with role potentially in doubt
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

PHILADELPHIA -- Scooter Gennett insisted he would have been just as happy Saturday with a two-run error as he was after his two-run hit, a single in the ninth that provided some breathing room for the Brewers in their 6-3 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

"All the personal stuff goes aside," Gennett said. "It's all about the team and getting the job done."

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PHILADELPHIA -- Scooter Gennett insisted he would have been just as happy Saturday with a two-run error as he was after his two-run hit, a single in the ninth that provided some breathing room for the Brewers in their 6-3 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

"All the personal stuff goes aside," Gennett said. "It's all about the team and getting the job done."

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Personally, though, it has been a battle for the 26-year-old second baseman of late, even as the team has won eight of its last 12 games. He was 0-for-4 on Saturday and 2-for-11 in the series before connecting with two outs in the ninth against the Phillies' Andrew Bailey for the critical insurance hit to center field.

Gennett is batting .197 with a .250 on-base percentage in 19 games since a stint on the disabled list for a strained oblique. That represents a precipitous drop from his headline-grabbing April, when the previously free-swinger hit .258/.361/.516 with 10 walks in 72 plate appearances -- two walks shy of his total in 391 plate appearances the year before.

"For the most part, I'm swinging at good pitches, but I'm not getting results," Gennett said before Saturday's game. "But now I have a few things figured out, and I think the results are going to start to come. I'm not too worried about it, but at the same time, it would be nice to get those results as soon as possible."

Nine innings later, Gennett found one of those good results.

"That was a big spot," manager Craig Counsell said of Gennett's ninth-inning hit. "I give Scooter a lot of credit; he's scuffled a little bit, and he was scuffling today, even, a little bit. But he kept it together and, in his last two at-bats, [he] put together some good at-bats."

Gennett essentially has slipped back into a platoon, starting against right-handed pitching while third baseman Aaron Hill gets most starts at second against lefties.

The Brewers are approaching a turning point at both positions. Top prospect Orlando Arcia is nearing the end of his Minor League career and will soon, whether later this season or at the start of next season, be manning shortstop in Milwaukee. The Brewers' current shortstop, Jonathan Villar, collected three more hits Saturday to drive his batting average up to .313 and his on-base percentage to .410. If that keeps up, the Brewers will have no choice but to find him a different spot on the infield.

Until recently -- he homered Saturday for the third time in as many days -- it appeared Villar would not hit for enough power to regularly play third. That made his most likely destination second base.

Such a move would be most problematic for Gennett's future with the Brewers.

Those concerns, of course, are for a later date. Gennett's primary focus is rediscovering some consistency at the plate.

"For the most part, I'm swinging at good pitches," he said. "I think when you're not having the results like earlier in the year I was pretty hot and they were like, 'OK, let's not give him anything to hit.' Now they're not really scared, so they're attacking me more. That makes me need to be more aggressive. I feel like now I've got a few things figured out."

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.

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

Milwaukee Brewers, Scooter Gennett