MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' days of an eight-man bullpen and four-man bench are numbered.
Manager Ron Roenicke has been working with that unconventional alignment since June 14, but he prefers to carry seven relievers and five bench bats. He suggested a change could be coming this week, as the Brewers near the end of a stretch of 20 games in as many days.
"We talked about that today, I talked to [general manager] Doug [Melvin] about it this morning," Roenicke said. "We'll see how we get through this series and maybe the next one. We'd like to get back to a five-man bench."
The extra arm came in handy during the team's long stretch of games, especially because Tom Gorzelanny was just coming back from a shoulder injury and Rule 5 Draft pick Wei-Chung Wang still hasn't worked his way into regular use. But Roenicke has been prevented at times over the past 10 days from using a pinch-hitter in situations he'd like.
The schedule will allow a change. The Brewers are off June 30 and July 3 around a two-game series in Toronto.
One candidate to be sent out is right-hander Mike Fiers, who had been excelling as a starter at Triple-A Nashville before joining the Milwaukee bullpen and sitting mostly idle.
Aramis rises on list of HRs by third basemen
MILWAUKEE -- Aramis Ramirez did not have to look far Monday to find the man he passed the day before on baseball's all-time list of home runs by a third baseman.
Ramirez's first-inning blast on Sunday was the 360th of his career while playing that position, sixth-most in Major League history and one ahead of Nationals manager Matt Williams. In 17 seasons for the Giants, D-backs and Indians, Williams actually hit 378 homers, but only 359 at the same time he was the third baseman.
Homers at the hot corner
After Sunday, Ramirez trails only Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Eddie Mathews, Chipper Jones, Graig Nettles and Adrian Beltre. Schmidt set the standard for third basemen with 509 home runs at that position and 548 homers overall.
"I would have [Ramirez] go to the plate in a situation I needed to get a run before anybody else I've seen at third base," said Brewers hitting coach Johnny Narron. "And I've been around some good ones. I had Beltre in Texas, and he's a good one. I respect them all, but when we've got runners in scoring position, and Aramis coming to the plate, I feel good about it."
Ramirez's 1,289 RBIs as a third baseman are fifth all-time behind Schmidt, Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson, future Hall of Famer Jones and Hall of Famer Ron Santo.
"It's bordering on Hall of Fame numbers," said Narron. "When you start talking Hall of Fame, and even being considered for the Hall of Fame, that's something."
• Left fielder Ryan Braun was back in the lineup Monday after tweaking his right ankle during Sunday's win in Colorado. Braun came out of Sunday's game in the ninth inning.
• The Triple-A Nashville Sounds placed utility man Irving Falu on the temporary inactive list Monday because of a death in his family. Falu was with the Brewers from May 26-June 13.