<
>

Weeks' two-run homer off Zumaya lifts Brewers over Tigers

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Rickie Weeks might look lost in the infield
sometimes, but his bat has kept him in the major leagues.

And on Wednesday, it kept the Milwaukee Brewers from being swept
by the Detroit Tigers.

Weeks hit a two-run homer with two outs in the seventh inning,
lifting Milwaukee to a 4-3 victory over Detroit and snapping the
Tigers' six-game winning streak.

"It was over the plate," Weeks said. "You've got to do
something to it."

He did -- just barely. Weeks' seventh homer of the season came
off fireballing Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya, landing just over the
wall in left center field as outfielder Curtis Granderson tried to
make a leaping catch.

Zumaya was disappointed he couldn't bring home a victory for
starter Nate Robertson, but he wasn't exactly impressed by Weeks'
estimated 385-foot shot.

"I hate giving up a home run in that situation when a guy is
pitching his tail off," Zumaya said. "My role is to come in and
get that guy out, and I gave up a little home run. Those are the
ones that kill me, that barely go over. I'd rather have Weeks hit
one 500 feet instead of a ball going 350 feet."

Brewers manager Ned Yost said Weeks showed off his superior bat
speed against what he called Zumaya's "electric" stuff.

"Rickie's got that type of bat speed that he can turn that
around, and he did right there," Yost said.

Weeks leads the majors with 20 errors at second base this
season, leading to speculation that he would be better off working
on his fielding in the minor leagues or switching positions. But
Yost, who has preached patience with the 23-year-old, said he can
see Weeks beginning to work his way out of his fielding problems
too.

"Rickie's been playing pretty good defense, so for me there's
not much of a debate," Yost said.

Robertson gave up three runs -- two earned -- in 6 2/3 innings
before giving up a pinch-hit single to Chris Barnwell, his first
major league hit.

"That was a good feeling," Barnwell said. "I definitely had
some chills."

Zumaya (3-1) came in and gave up the home run to Weeks, taking
the loss.

"I don't have any problem with a game like that, they earned
it," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We went with Zumaya, who
has been fantastic, and the guy hit the ball over the fence. Give
them credit. It's not like we threw the game away."

After missing out on the chance to sweep the Brewers, the Tigers
will face serious tests with back-to-back home series against St.
Louis and Houston following an off day Thursday.

"We had an excellent, excellent trip," Leyland said. "Five
out of six is fantastic. You always get greedy, it would have been
great to sweep the trip."

Weeks' homer was the just the latest example of something that
has been true for the Brewers all year, at least at home: When
their pitchers are able to keep the game close, their hitters often
find a way to pull out a victory.

The Brewers have come from behind in 21 of their 25 home
victories this season.

"It was a great pitching performance by Chris Capuano to keep
them in check for seven strong innings," Yost said. "And then the
offense took over."

Capuano (8-4) struck out eight in seven innings, giving up three
runs and seven hits. Derrick Turnbow had two strikeouts in a
perfect ninth for his 21st save in 25 chances.

"The Tigers' pitching staff is just outstanding," Capuano
said. "I knew runs were going to be at a premium, so every run you
can keep off the board is big."

The Tigers took an early lead, making up for two fielding errors
with timely hitting by scoring each of their runs with two outs.

In the fifth, Marcus Thames hit a two-out RBI single that was
trapped by left fielder Carlos Lee and scored Craig Monroe to give
the Tigers a 3-1 lead.

Milwaukee got a run back in the sixth when Lee reached first
base on a bobbled ball error by shortstop Carlos Guillen. Lee
eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Bill Hall to cut the
Tigers' lead to 3-2.

Weeks led off the first with a single and took second on an
error by Monroe, later scoring on a single by Lee to give Milwaukee
a 1-0 lead. Monroe helped make up for his error in the second,
slapping a two-out RBI double to score Guillen and tie the game at
1. Robertson followed Monroe's double with the first hit and RBI of
his major league career.

Game notes
Monroe left the game in the seventh with a cramp in his
left quadriceps. ... Milwaukee's Chad Moeller hit a single to snap
an 0-for-10 slump.

Comments