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Notes: Slumping Hall shifts to seventh

Notes: Slumping Hall shifts to seventh

LOS ANGELES -- Slumping Brewers cleanup hitter Bill Hall dropped to seventh in the lineup on Monday in a move manager Ned Yost downplayed as a day-to-day adjustment.

Yost said Hall would move back up to his usual spot when the Brewers face left-handed starters, as they will on Tuesday, or when Tony Gwynn Jr. is not in the lineup. But on Monday, for the first time this season, Hall started a game but did not hit cleanup.

"I was kind of expecting it," Hall said. "Obviously, we've got some guys driving in runs right now, and for the most part, I'm not getting the job done. Tomorrow, I'll probably be back in the four-hole, so it's not a permanent thing, and it's no big deal. I want to do whatever I can do to help.

"I know I'm not swinging the bat the way I want to be swinging it. Other guys are. Maybe when I'm hot and they're not, it's going to be my turn to get some big hits. No big deal for me."

Hall entered the series at Dodgers Stadium batting .261 with six home runs and 19 RBIs. He was hitting .240 against right-handed pitchers and .181 with runners in scoring position.

Yost insisted it had more to do with finding the right spot in the lineup for Gwynn than with Hall's tepid start to the season. Leadoff man Rickie Weeks returned to the lineup on Monday after missing four games with inflammation in his right wrist, and Yost opted to bat Gwynn in the two-hole.

"It didn't have anything to do with Billy [as much as] balancing out our lineup," Yost said. "When I had my first lineup up today, I had Billy hitting fourth, but then I had [Geoff] Jenkins, Gwynn and [Craig] Counsell hitting sixth, seventh, eighth -- three lefties lined up.

"With [the Dodgers] having two lefties in their bullpen, I thought it balanced us out a little bit more if I put Gwynn -- who has been getting on base -- in the two-hole."

J.J. Hardy and Prince Fielder slid down one spot each and batted third and fourth. Johnny Estrada was in his usual spot in the five-hole, and Jenkins batted sixth against Dodgers starter Brett Tomko. When the Brewers face lefty Randy Wolf on Tuesday, Hall will be back in the cleanup spot, Yost promised.

"I talked to him and told him this is changing from day-to-day right now," Yost said. "He's struggling a little bit against right-handed pitching, and this balances our lineup up today."

Gwynn was batting .405 in his eight starts before Monday. Yost has been hesitant to play Gwynn every day, and said he would continue to mix fellow outfielders Gabe Gross, Corey Hart and Kevin Mench into the lineup.

Weeks returns: Weeks was back at the top of the lineup after a four-day absence ordered by head team physician William Raasch. Weeks underwent surgery last September to repair a loose tendon in his wrist, and the Brewers say they were warned at the time that Weeks would need some periodic time off when the joint flared up.

"The history on these types of operations is that a player has to deal with it for nine to 12 months," said Yost, who talked "extensively" with Weeks about it on Sunday. "There's just soreness -- guys like Nomar Garciaparra who have had this type of surgery -- it would get inflamed and you have to back off for a day or two and then you're strong for a month or two."

Weeks singled leading off the game. Like Hall, Weeks has yet to enjoy a hot streak and entered play with a .232 batting average and a .341 on-base percentage.

Hart has also battled a wrist injury that dates back to April 21, when he suffered a sprain while stealing a pair of bases in a win over Houston. Hart has not started since May 16 in Philadelphia, but Yost did not indicate the 25-year-old was currently injured.

"Corey's been really good the last week, had some good at-bats and his swings are better," Yost said. "He's kind of coming off that wrist thing and getting stronger."

Yo honor: Triple-A Nashville Sounds right-hander Yovani Gallardo was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for May 14-20. He threw six scoreless innings on May 17 and struck out 11 to take the Minor League lead with 66.

Gallardo leads the PCL with a 2.22 ERA and is tied for the league lead with five wins. He will toe the rubber again on Tuesday night against Memphis.

Best in ball: Brewers Minor League affiliates had a combined 100-67 record through Sunday, the best mark in baseball. Milwaukee was followed by Cincinnati (99-72, .582), Cleveland (93-69, .574), San Francisco (95-74, .562) and Colorado (94-75, .556).

Aquino sent out: When the Brewers hit the road for a six-game trip to Los Angeles and San Diego, right-handed reliever Greg Aquino went the opposite direction. He reported to Nashville, where he will begin a rehab assignment with the Sounds.

Aquino posted a 5.87 ERA in eight games and was optioned to Nashville last month, but the assignment was voided after he complained of a sore right forearm. He instead was placed on the 15-day DL.

On deck: Coming off a win at Philadelphia in which he set a season high with eight strikeouts, Ben Sheets will aim for his fourth straight win and his fifth straight quality start when he faces Wolf and the Dodgers at 9:10 CT on Tuesday night.

Some of Sheets' teammates will have an early wake-up call. Chris Capuano, Hall, Hardy and Jeff Suppan will film a scene for the CBS soap The Young and the Restless, which is set in the town of Genoa City, Wis. All four players have speaking roles and will play themselves.

Has Hall learned his lines?

"Not really," he said. "They're all one-liners. How hard can it be?"

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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