The Brewers have not lacked for offense in their last 17 games, averaging 5.6 runs a contest en route to a 12-5 record.
Left fielder Ryan Braun has been his usual self, and fellow outfielder Carlos Gomez has been on a tear, hitting .509 with five homers and nine RBIs in that stretch.
There has, however, been a definite hole in Milwaukee's lineup: the cleanup spot. The Brewers rank 29th in OPS from No. 4 hitters and join the Royals as the only teams with no home runs from a cleanup man.
Enter Aramis Ramirez.
The Brewers third baseman will be reinstated from the 15-day disabled list prior to Friday's game against the first-place Cardinals at Miller Park.
"He's not going to run the bases today like he has been doing, so we're going to back off him today, and if everything goes well, we'll see [Friday] or the next day," manager Ron Roenicke said Thursday afternoon before the move was announced.
Ramirez -- shelved with a sprained left knee since April 6 -- opted not to go on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment, so he is not expected to play all nine innings from the start.
"We'll have that conversation," Roenicke said. "I have to find out how many innings I can go with him first, and how often. He probably won't go back-to-back days, depending on the games."
Ramirez's return lengthens the lineup Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller will face Friday, though the Brewers were not an issue for the rookie last month. Miller held the Brewers to one hit and struck out eight over seven shutout innings April 12 in his lone career start against Milwaukee.
Miller was dominant in his first April as a big leaguer, with his lone rocky start coming in his last outing against Pittsburgh, when he needed 113 pitches to get through 5 2/3 innings.
Cardinals: Driving 'em in
St. Louis is hitting .341 with runners in scoring position and .360 in such situations with two outs.
• Catcher Yadier Molina has a four-game hitting streak during which he is batting .533.
Brewers: Nice to see you again
Kyle Lohse makes his second start of the season against his former team Friday when the right-hander faces the Cardinals, whom he pitched for from 2008-12. He did well the first time out, allowing two runs in seven innings in an April 12 duel with Miller, but took the loss.
The Brewers are 2-3 in Lohse's starts while scoring a total of one run in the losses.
• Outfielder Josh Prince was optioned to Triple-A Nashville following Thursday's game to make room for Ramirez. Prince appeared in five games, going 1-for-5 with a double.
• Gomez has a nine-game hitting streak in which he is batting .515.
• The Cardinals have begun the month of May in first place in every season since 2008. The Brewers opened May 2007 in first place.
• Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday has 10 career home runs at Miller Park.
• Milwaukee starters have 15 quality starts in their last 21 games.