Ryan Braun getting better, but still hurting

Ryan Braun is out of the Milwaukee Brewers' lineup for the third consecutive game today as he continues to deal with neck spasms.

Manager Ron Roenicke seemingly left the door open for a possible pinch-hitting appearance today if Braun's neck stays loose and the situation calls for it, and Braun is definitely anxious to get back onto the field in some form.

"As soon as I’m able to get to a point where I have a chance to contribute and play, I’ll be playing," Braun said. "It’s a little bit better today than it was yesterday, which is a good thing.

"I feel like I’ve been out a week and it’s been less than 48 hours since I did it. So hopefully it gets better sooner rather than later."

There's never a good time for an all-star caliber player like Braun to be injured, but at this point especially the Brewers really can't afford to be missing him.

They're off to a 1-4 start, cleaup hitter Aramis Ramirez just went on the disabled list with a sprained left knee and a six-game road trip to Chicago and St. Louis opens on Monday.

Without his No. 3 and 4 hitters, Roenicke has had to get creative the past few days with his lineup.

"Went through a few," Roenicke said, referring to lineup combinations.

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