LOS ANGELES -- Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was not in the starting lineup for Thursday's series finale with the Dodgers in the wake of his right Achilles' tendon flaring up after he slid into second base on Wednesday.Braun aggravated the injury Wednesday the same way he first sustained the injury on May 1 in San Diego -- jamming his foot hard into the base. "Last night he slid into second, and he felt it," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "When he originally did it, it was on a late slide on a steal." Roenicke also said the decision to sit Braun was based more on keeping the 2011 National League MVP healthy for the long run. "If we can do that and make progress, then we'll do it occasionally," he said. "But you need to feel like you're making progress. If not, you have to change things around." Despite the injury, Braun leads the team with 10 stolen bases and is the only player in the Majors with at least 10 home runs (14) and 10 steals. Roenicke, though, wasn't expecting any sympathy from the Brewers' opponent Thursday. "They lost their best player, too," Roenicke said, referring to the Dodgers' Matt Kemp. Roenicke said Braun was available for pinch-hitting duties.
K-Rod always ready to step in for Axford
LOS ANGELES -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke didn't completely rule out using closer John Axford in Thursday's series finale with the Dodgers, but it certainly wasn't likely. Axford had pitched in four games in four days, including earning the save in each of the first three games of the series against the Dodgers. Axford has never pitched in five straight games in the Majors.In setup man Francisco Rodriguez, Roenicke has a proven closer who can move into the role seamlessly. Although he began the day with only one save this season (April 10 vs. Cubs), Rodriguez has 292 in his career and is looking forward to joining the 300-saves club, currently occupied by 23 pitchers. "It means a lot; it's a big milestone," Rodriguez said. "I'm just thankful I've had the ability to accomplish something special. "I remember when I was setting up Percy [Troy Percival with the Angels] when he said to me, 'Look at me, one day you'll be in this position and you better call me when you get your 300th.' I said, 'Yeah, right,' but he was right." Rodriguez's opportunities are few and far between these days, but he said he is happy to wait for his chances. "I stay humble. I've got to be thankful for what I've got and not for what I don't," he said. "Do I want to close? Of course. This is something temporary. I just need to make sure I keep getting the job done whenever the opportunity does come."
Gomez ready for next opportunity
LOS ANGELES -- Carlos Gomez was back on the bench to start Thursday's game despite tying a career high with four hits in Wednesday's win over the Dodgers. Nyjer Morgan returned to center field after getting most of Wednesday's game off (he had a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning), but Gomez will get his share of opportunities if he hits like he did on Wednesday."This is how he was swinging before he got hurt," Roenicke said, referring to the left hamstring strain that landed Gomez on the disabled list from May 5-20. "We hadn't been seeing that so far, so it was good to get him back to where he looks really good." With the rash of injuries the club has sustained, opportunities will continue to present themselves for a variety of players. Edwin Maysonet got his fourth start of the season Thursday at shortstop. "When I was in the Giants organization in '99 in the Minor Leagues, I'd always hear about this guy," Roenicke said of Maysonet, a 30-year-old native of Puerto Rico. "He's played shortstop a long time and done really well a long time. But he's getting older and he's slowed down."
Joe Haakenson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.