Two players are expected to return to Pittsburgh's lineup on Friday after taking time off for different reasons. Shortstop Clint Barmes, who is batting .170 this season and is hitless in his last three games, sat out the final two games against the Reds in an effort to fix his problems at the plate. Barmes said he has an idea of what his issue has been, and he hopes a break will reverse his recent fortunes. "It's the bat path," Barmes said. "[I am] doing different drills to try to get where I need to be. I'm staying positive. I expect good things to happen. I've done this in the past, and it has worked." Setup man Juan Cruz also is expected to come back after going on the restricted list on Monday so he could handle a personal issue in his native Dominican Republic. Brewers: Wolf seeks first win since April
After going 2-2 in the first month of the season, Randy Wolf went 0-2 in five starts in May. The Brewers went 1-4 in those games and never scored more than three runs in each loss. Wolf will take the hill on Friday, looking for his first win since April 30 against San Diego. On the season, Wolf is 2-4 with a 5.73 ERA and has pitched more than six innings only once, when he lasted seven against San Francisco on May 21. Worth noting
The Pirates are halfway through a stretch of 12 games against the NL Central. In the first six games, Pittsburgh went 5-1. Roenicke has sent a different Brewers lineup onto the field in each of the last 14 games. With catcher Jonathan Lucroy out with a broken hand, Milwaukee now has seven players on the disabled list, including three who are out for the season. Brewers slugger Ryan Braun sat out Thursday night's series finale against the Dodgers after his right Achilles' tendon flared up on a slide into second in Wednesday night's game. He first hurt the same heel in a similar fashion on May 1. Roenicke said Braun would have been available to pinch-hit if needed.